bebe's Hot July

Many women's apparel retailers didn't fare too well in July's summer heat, but bebeStores (Nasdaq: BEBE  ) was among the exceptions. Investors can appreciate a retailer that flourishes even as its peers start to wilt.

bebe reported a 10% increase in same-store sales for July, more than twice what analysts expected from the retailer. That was an impressive showing, considering that retailers like Chico's (NYSE: CHS  ) and Ann Taylor (NYSE: ANN  ) , to name just a few, missed analysts' expectations for July sales.

As investors, we know not to place too much emphasis on monthly same-store sales figures; one financial metric does not an investment thesis make. (I wrote about some of the issues currently surrounding same-store sales data last month.) But same-store sales figures do help us better assess a retailer's current performance. Given the market's going consensus that July's heat -- and perhaps the financial pressures we keep hearing so much about -- kept shoppers at home more often, there's something to be said for bebe's extremely impressive jump in same-store sales for the month.

bebe wasn't up against easy comparisons, either. In July of last year, its same-store sales rose a whopping 25%. This year, bebe's total July sales increased 21.4% to $37.4 million.

I was compelled to examine bebe's most recent quarter because it seemed to be doing better than many of its peers, especially since this year has been tough for many retailers. While bebe has had its ups and downs, it's historically a well-run company. Fool co-founder Tom Gardner is familiar with bebe, and he's recommended the stock for Motley Fool Stock Advisor subscribers.

Some of the most interesting retailers can excel even when times are tough, and bebe's latest same-store sales may have earned it a place on investors' watch lists.

Shop around for more on bebe by reading the following Foolish content:

bebeis aMotley Fool Stock Advisorrecommendation. To find out what other companies David and Tom Gardner have recommended to investors, click here for a 30-day free trial.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.


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