Stores report solid gains in July sales

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

Retailers are reporting solid gains in July in a key revenue figure, helped by hot weather and clearance sales.

As merchants reported their sales early Thursday, many came in better than expected. Costco Wholesale Corp. and Target Corp. reported a gain above expectations.

Limited Brands Inc., which runs Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works, said the revenue figure rose double what analysts expected. Gap Inc. also far surpassed predictions.

As the back-to-school season kicks off, teen clothing sellers were mixed. Wet Seal and Zumiez both missed expectations. But Hot Topic and American Eagle reported strong second-quarter figures.

The figures are based on revenue at stores open at least a year. That is considered a key indicator of a retailer's health because it excludes newly opened and closed stores.

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