Same-store sales up in July, boosted by heavy promotions

New York -- A group of 11 large U.S. retailers that report same-store sales results each month had a generally strong showing in July. However, Thomson Reuters analysis indicates significant discounting helped drive an overall 4.4% increase, more than double the 1.4% same-store sales rise recorded in July of last year.

Same-store sales at American Apparel rose 8%, while a 2.1% lift at The Buckle came in slightly below Wall Street expectations and same-store sales at Cato Corp. fell 5%, which the retailer attributed to economic volatility and uncertainty.

Discounted gasoline helped create a 4% same-store sales lift at Costco Wholesale Corp, which came in below the 5.1% growth expected by analysts. Soft electronics demand put a damper on same-store sales, while a strong U.S. dollar helped negate an 8% increase in international same-store sales.

Promotions at Fred’s Inc. spurred a 2.5% same-store sales increase and performance at the Canadian La Senza chain drove a 3% rise at L Brands, parent company of Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works. That figure doubled analyst predictions of a 1.5% boost at L Brands.

General merchandise helped produce a 0.7% same-store sales increase at Rite Aid Corp., while discounts on bottled water and soda produced heavier store traffic that resulted in 6.3% same-store sales growth at Walgreens Corp. A 0.8% same-store sales boost at Zumiez Corp. was weaker than expected.

Gap Inc. will release its same-store sales figures after the close of the market today.