Retail sales lackluster in June, specialty stores hit and miss

New York -- Disappointing same-store sales results in June weren’t necessarily unexpected, as the month typically trends weaker as shoppers have fewer reasons to shop.

Thomson Reuters, which polls 18 U.S. retail chains, projected its Same-Store Sales Index to inch up 0.5% in June, far below last year’s 6.7% rise for the month. Analysts have said that warm weather may have prompted consumers to make summer apparel purchases earlier than usual, shifting sales from later months like June.

Just before the July 4th holiday, the International Council of Shopping Centers trimmed its earlier June same-store sales forecast of a 1.5% to 2% rise to an even more conservative 1% to 1.5% increase.

Among the specialty store retailers, the results were hit and miss. The Limited was the big winner with a 7% rise in June same-store sales, handily beating Wall Street’s forecasted 2.4% rise. The parent to Victoria’s Secret, Pink, Bath and Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel said its total June sales, however, remained nearly flat at $1.1 billion.

Wet Seal and Buckle posted the weakest results in the category, with declines of 9% and 2.5% respectively.

Gap reported flat same-store sales in June, just missing the .1% gain projected by Wall Street. Overall sales for the month increased 2%.

“We’re pleased with our overall sales performance in June, especially the continued positive trend in our North America business,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and CEO, Gap Inc.

Other specialty store results announced so far included Zumiez, which saw same-store sales rise 8.2% in June, narrowly missing analysts’ predicted 8.4% gain.