Is it any wonder why even the poorest quality retailers are putting up great numbers? The general sales environment continues to remain strong in the US, with numbers for the week 4.8% higher than last year according to ICSC (index of 80 retailers excluding restaurant and vehicles). That's the highest weekly rate we've seen in over 3-years. Compares vs last year were easy this week, but even looking at a 2-year run-rate the index is approaching highs for the year. To be clear, US retailers should be killing it in this kind of environment. Most are. But for companies that but up questionable quality numbers (like KSS) but get rewarded anyway, we'd simply ask what they'll look like when this strength ends?
By comparison, Eurozone Retail Sales were also released this morning for July, and we're looking at 0.8% growth yy, which is down from +1.9% in June. Keep in mind, however, that sales for 2013 were below 2012 levels almost every month of the year.