L Brands, Inc. posted comparable-store sales of 2% for the four-week period ended Aug 31, 2013 compared with 8% in the prior-year period. This specialty retailer of women’s intimate and other apparel, beauty and personal care products showcased a 5.9% rise in net sales of $704.7 million from $665.6 million in the prior-year period.
On the whole, retailers came up with mixed sales result for August. The month got off to a slow start and shift in the consumers shopping pattern toward cars and houses hurt sales of apparel, shoes and accessories. However, sales picked up later as retailers spent more on promotions and came up with lucrative discounts to drive traffic. However, heavy discounts raise concerns about margins.
Apparel retailer, Stein Mart Inc. impressed analysts by posting a 3.8% rise in comps, while The Gap, Inc. (GPS - Analyst Report), witnessed a 2% increase in comps. However, discount store operator, Fred's, Inc. (FRED - Analyst Report), reported flat comps for the month of August.
Coming to Limited Brands, comparable-store sales for August rose 3% at Victoria’s Secret Stores & Victoria’s Secret Beauty, 1% at Bath & Body Works & The White Barn Candle Co. and 8% at La Senza. Sales climbed 3% at Victoria’s Secret Direct. Management now projects total comparable-store sales to rise in the low single-digits for the month of September.
For the thirty-week period ended Aug 31, 2013, comparable-store sales increased 2%, whereas net sales rose 5.2% to $5,489 million from $5,218 million in the year-ago period.
Limited Brands, which operates 2,905 stores, holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).