With a handful of companies reporting July sales so far, the results are generally in line with expectations. On the upside, Urban Outfitters reported better results for its second quarter with overall same store sales decreasing by 6%. Still an absolute negative but on track with their sequentially improving trends. On the downside, cult rocket-ship (stock) retailer The Buckle reported what appears to be a huge disappointment. Results were up 2.8% with expectations for a 10% increase. Given the large calendar shift which impacts teen retailers disproportionately, this may explain some of the deceleration from prior months.
Our main call out comes from Costco, which had interesting comments on its category performance. Management mentioned that the overall trends were very similar to last month, with the exception of non-food categories which showed a slight uptick in trend. Office, sporting goods, small appliances, domestics, and mens/womens apparel produced a same store sales increase of 10% excluding currency effects. With overall traffic up 3.5%, it appears market share gains and perhaps a bottoming in the more discretionary categories is beginning to occur. This trend warrants more data points before we can make a definitive call, but the positive tone is certainly noteworthy.