Surprisingly Strong Back-to-School Sales

Thursday, September 06, 2007 | 11:30 AM

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


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

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

WSJ, Back to School

Thursday, September 06, 2007 | 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack (0) add to | digg digg this! | technorati add to technorati | email email this post



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what remains to be seen is the profit margin on all of it, at least at Wal-Mart.....

% increases are great fodder for PR releases...can Wal-Mart make any money on consistently undercutting prices on electronics?? or on the food it sells (like the costs have not gone up on those as well.

As we've said before Wal Mart's numbers (for the last q) were basically a celebration of higher food have those costs increased in that time period.....I bet they have..


Posted by: michael schumacher | Sep 6, 2007 11:44:12 AM

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