Same-store retail sales for August were up 3.4 percent compared to a decline of 2.4 percent for August 2009, according to Kantar Retail. Last month's sales topped July's increase of 2.9 percent.
Among the 30 retailers reporting monthly sales, food, drug and mass retailers posted better than average results over last year with department stores following close to the overall composite. Meanwhile, apparel and accessories stores lagged slightly.
Limited reported the largest gain among all the retailers posting a 10 percent increase, followed by Zumiez at a 9.1 increase and Tandy Leather Factory at a 9.0 percent increase.
Overall, other key same-store sales gains included Stein Mart at 8.5 percent, Nordstrom at 6.3 percent, Ross Stores at 5.0 percent, Macy's at 4.5 percent and Neiman Marcus at 4.3 percent. Declines were reported by Bon-Ton Stores at -4.6 percent, Hot Topic at -3.7 percent, Buckle at -3.5 percent and Destination Maternity at -3.2 percent.
"August sales held up relatively well because shoppers' intention to curb their spending plans was outweighed by their back-to-school needs, especially when they scrimped on meeting those needs a year ago," says Frank Badillo, senior economist at Kantar Retail.
For a list of results: http://www.retailforward.com/retailintel/samestr_sales.pdf.