bebe Stores (Nasdaq: BEBE) just can't seem to crawl out of its malaise.

The women's apparel retailer reported its Q2 same-store sales figures last week, and it was more of the kind of trouble investors have grown used to. Quarterly comps decreased by 7.9%, compared to a 5.5% increase in the same time frame last year. Total sales increased 3% to $201.9 million.

Unfortunately, bebe no longer reports its same-store sales on a monthly basis, so we can't get a good read on the retailer's holiday sales. Last quarter, there were lots of promises of a "sexy" Christmas assortment, as well as what some of us might find a dubious strategy for this retailer, namely having some "value" pricing on some merchandise. (This retailer has always been known for more upscale wares.) In addition, bebe recently disclosed in a regulatory filing that founder Manny Mashouf has returned to the company's design lab.

bebe, a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation, has looked like a retail value stock for quite some time. However, for my own part, I'm beginning to wonder if the turnaround is going to take longer than many of us previously imagined. I can't help but wonder if trying to pull off a turnaround and navigate a consumer slowdown makes struggling retailers -- like Gap (NYSE: GPS), Chico's (NYSE: CHS), and Talbots (NYSE: TLB) -- tricky at best. Meanwhile, one notable bebe rival, Guess? (NYSE: GES), still seems strong (it nudged its 2008 estimates upward after it reported stronger-than-expected holiday sales), which is pretty impressive in these tough times.

For the time being, bebe still looks cheap, trading at only 13 times trailing earnings, but given continued comps weakness, I'm beginning to lose confidence in its near-term ability to lure in customers. Next quarter's tidings should be illuminating, but for now, I find myself less confident in bebe. I'd say investors definitely need more solid signs that bebe's getting its strategy back on track.

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bebe is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Gap has been recommended by both Motley Fool Stock Advisor and Motley Fool Inside Value. Check out any of the services free for 30 days.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool has a disclosure policy.