September 3, 2009

Back to school retail boost fizzles

U.S. retailers failed to show growth in August despite tax free shopping days in some states and a nationwide leap into back-to-school spending, data shows.

Retail showed some growth compared to July, when sales fell 5 percent. Contrary to expectations, however, stores catering to young children and teenagers showed sharp declines.

Sales at the Gap fell 3 percent, while American Eagle Outfitters reported sales down 7 percent. Sales at Children's Place fell 8 percent.

Overall, sales dropped 2.9 percent in the month compared to a year ago, The New York Times reported Thursday.

A slew of department stores took a hit in August. Sales at Saks fell 19.6 percent, while Dilllard's said sales dropped 8.9 percent. Macy's said sales were down 7.9 percent and Nordstrom was down 7.6 percent, the Times reported.