Retailers were hit by disappointing sales in June as U.S. consumers held back on spending and concerns over unemployment and the economy continued. Target (NYSE:TGT), Costco (NASDAQ:COST), Macy’s (NYSE:M), and Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS) were among the chains that struggled last month at stores open at least a year.
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The top 18 retailers were expected to report a 2.4 percent gain in June same-store sales, the smallest monthly increase in almost three years and compared with growth of 7.7 percent a year ago.
Costco reported a 3 percent increase in same-store sales that was below estimates of a 3.7 percent gain; Macy’s reported a 1.2 percent increase, staying under Wall Street expectations of 1.9 percent, while Target’s 2.1 percent gain was also below projections.
“In part, this was a function of a macroeconomic environment that is stagnant at best,” Macy’s chief executive Terry Lundgren said in a statement. The company said it expects its fiscal 2012 earnings to be between $3.25 and $3.30 a share, below the $3.37 a share average analyst estimate.
Smaller chains like Cato (NYSE:CATO), Wet Seal (NASDAQ:WTSLA), and The Buckle (NYSE:BKE) also reported same-store sales below estimates. Sales declined 9 percent at West Seal, far deeper than the projected 7.7 percent decline that was expected. At the Buckle, sales fell 2.5 percent, while estimates had predicted flat sales. Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) and Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) saw declines.
Discount chains TJX (NYSE:TJX), which owns the T.J. Maxx brand, and Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST), reported some of the largest gains and raised their second-quarter profit forecasts as shoppers looked out for shopping deals.
There were a few bright sparks. Limited Brands (NYSE:LTD) saw a 7 percent gain, more than double what Wall Street had expected from the company that owns Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works. Luxury chains Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) and Saks (NYSE:SKS) also did well. Nordstrom saw an 8.1 percent increase, and Saks had a 6 percent gain, compared to expectations of 4.7 percent increases for both.