Sales Growth Slows at Stateside Stores

09 June 2003

Sales growth slowed at America’s major retailers last month, according to new figures.

The Goldman Sachs index of sales at stores open at least a year edged up 1.5% in May, a marked decline from the 2.4% growth in April. In May 2002, sales rose 2.4%.

The discount sector continued to lead growth. Wal-Mart posted a 2.1% same-store sales rise for the month, Target climbed 0.7% and Kohl’s was up 0.1%.

Department stores fared less well, Sears, Roebuck & Co reporting a 1.9% fall in same-store sales (and even that was better than some analysts expected). J C Penney, however, bucked the trend with a 3.2% rise. Elsewhere, Gap continued its recovery with a 10% leap; in the same month last year it declined 9%.

Pointing to high inventories, analysts believe June will bring widespread discounts, which could continue to hold back retailers’ performance.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff