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Surprisingly Strong Back-to-School Sales

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On September 6, 2007 @ 11:30 am In Consumer Spending,Economy,Retail | Comments Disabled

We moved to much larger quarters yesterday, and I am somewhat out of the loop, as we await Verizon to hook up our big fat pipes, office furniture, etc. Hence, this quick, Starbucks-sourced, caffeine-fueled update.

I was not expecting very much in terms of back-to-school sales, but so far, most of what we have heard from the retailers was rather robust.

Wal-Mart reported a higher-than-expected 3.1 percent rise in August sales, almost double the 1.6% expectations. While some of the gains may be attributable to food inflation, the world’s largest retailer has been very aggressive about price cuts. Reuters noted that since July, Wal-Mart "announced price cuts of as much as 50 percent on 16,000 items — including school supplies and backpacks, to jump-start back-to-school sales."

The big winners in the same-store-sales data were Saks (plus 18.2%), Zumiez (plus 17.4%),  American Eagle Outfitters (plus 9%), Target (plus 6.1%), and Abercrombie & Fitch (plus 6%).

I mentioned a few weeks ago on Kudlow that this would be a telling sign of the strength of the U.S.consumer — and on first glance, its much better than I expected.


Good sortable table from the (free) WSWJ

click for sortable table

Back_to_school_sales [1]

Retailers Post Generally Strong Sales During Back-to-School Period [2]
WSJ, September 6, 2007 8:48 a.m.

Wal-Mart August sales beat expectations [3] 
Reuters, September 6, 2007

WSJ, Back to School

Article printed from The Big Picture: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog

URL to article: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2007/09/surprisingly-strong-back-to-school-sales/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/retro-070906sales.html

[2] Retailers Post Generally Strong Sales During Back-to-School Period: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118907726101519242.html

[3] Wal-Mart August sales beat expectations: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070906/bs_nm/walmart_sales_dc_3;_ylt=Av47HcqZZala.P3o84EGQr0E1vAI

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