July same-store sales up 2.6 percent at major chain stores

Retailers posted an industry-wide comparable-store sales gain of 2.6 percent for the month of July, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers’ (ICSC) tally of 60 leading retailers.

Luxury stores outperformed other retail sectors during the month, growing their comparable-store sales 10.3 percent. Furniture chains reported the steepest decline, at 8.6 percent.

“As we have noted earlier this year, a consumer ‘soft patch’ began in February 2007, and the latest data suggested it continued through July," said Michael Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research. “The housing market drag continues to dampen consumer demand and with it the overall economy.”

July sales figures are as follows:

Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart reported comparable-store sales rose 1.9 percent. Net sales rose 8.8 percent to $27.58 billion.

Minneapolis-based Target reported comparable-store sales were up 6.1 percent. Net sales rose 10.8 percent to $4.9 billion, the company reported.

Issaquah, Wash.-based Costco reported comparable-store sales rose 7 percent, while net sales were up 11 percent to $5.02 billion.

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