Retailers fare well in August, sales beat estimates

WASHINGTON, Thu Aug 30, 2012 – Most retailers, including Costco Wholesale Corp. and Limited Brands Inc., posted better-than-expected sales gains at existing stores in August, in what is expected to be a healthy month as parents and students wrapped up back-to-school purchases.

Analysts expected 19 retail chains to report a 2 percent rise in August sales at stores open at least a year, or same-store sales, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Excluding drugstores, which do not put out their numbers until next week, same-store sales are expected to rise 4.1 percent.

Same-store sales are an important measure of retailer performance because they strip out the effects from store openings and closures.

Limited, which owns the Victoria’s Secret, Pink and Bath & Body Works chains, saw same-store sales rise 8 percent, well above analysts’ average view of 4.2 percent.