Specialty apparel mostly stays strong in April
New York -- Several apparel retailers, including Limited Brands, Zumiez and Ross Stores, posted better-than-expected sales in April. It was widely expected that an earlier Easter, which pushed demand into March, and cool weather would hurt sales.
Limited Brands, parent of Victoria’s Secret, reported a 7% rise in same-store sales for April, beating estimates.
Teen clothing retailer Zumiez also beat expectations with a 10.1% gain in April. The Buckle’s same-stores sales edged up 1% slightly higher than analysts' estimates.
At Hot Topic Inc., same-store sales rose 7.5% in the first quarter, with sales up at both its namesake and Torrid chains. The company also raised its first-quarter earnings projection above analyst expectations, but second-quarter guidance missed expectations.
Ross Stores Inc. said its same-store sales jumped 7% in April, beating Wall Street predictions and prompting the discount clothing retailer to boost its first-quarter profit guidance.
But April was not kind to all apparel retailers. The Wet Seal Inc. reported a 9.6% decrease in same-store sales, a bigger drop than analysts expected, hurt by lower demand for tops and jewelry. Sales fell 9.1% at namesake stores and 12.1% at its Arden B chain.
Gap Inc.'s April same-store sales fell 2%, a bigger decline than analysts expected. But the retailer also gave a fiscal first-quarter earnings guidance above Wall Street's expectations, and its February-April quarterly revenue beat analysts' estimates.
Gap said its namesake and Banana Republic stores in North America posted gains in same-store sales in April, while Old Navy North America and international stores declined.
The Cato Corp. said that its same-store sales fell 6% in April, partly because Easter fell earlier than last year.