June was dismally slow for retailers, but today's same-store sales results indicate that shoppers returned during the month of July. On the whole, comps came in stronger than had been anticipated, leading some retailers to raise their quarterly earnings guidance.
July is traditionally a discounting month, with retailers clearing out summer merchandise to make way for fall goods. As such, it's not usually an important month for gauging retailers' health. Today's results are encouraging, though, in that they turned around June's poor showing and created hope that consumers' demand will carry over into the crucial August and September back-to-school months.
Discount powerhouse Wal-Mart
Even among the beleaguered department store group, same-store sales came in ahead of expectations. Sears'
Specialty retailers joined the July party, too. Teen surf shop Pacific Sunwear
Abercrombie & Fitch
All eyes will now be on the upcoming back-to-school season to see if retailers can sustain July's momentum.
LouAnn Lofton owns shares of Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.