ICSC's figures show that chain stores reported a 2.6 percent increase in same-store sales in July (membership required). That's in line with what the association's researchers had predicted.
Value and convenience retailers tended to perform better in July than the industry as a whole. Discount stores sales rose 2.3% in July, wholesale clubs rose by 9.5% (or, 5.2% excluding fuel) and drug store business rose by 3.2%. However, other segments of the industry continued to struggle with apparel specialty sales off 5.5% and department store sales down 5.7%. Both teen retailers (-3.5%) and luxury department stores (-5.1%) posted declines in July.
Although July captured the early back-to-school shopping, the month was dominated by more
clearance sales of spring and summer merchandise at sharp discounts. Wal-Mart reported that its apparel business was slightly negative for the month, but was optimistic on its back-to-school and back-to-college offerings for August sales.