**FILE** This Nov. 22, 2008 file photo shows shoppers pushing their carts through the toy aisles at the Costco in Cranberry, Pa., Butler County. With holiday sales shaping up to be the lowest in years, possibly the worst since the industry began annual comparisons in 1969, retailers say they're taking consumers' demands for good deals seriously. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
NEW YORK (AP) - Many U.S. retailers are reporting sales declines
in May as shoppers continue to shop cautiously.
Costco Wholesale, Hot Topic and Stage Stores are all reporting
drops more than analysts expected. However, The Buckle says sales
rose above expectations.
Two factors might weigh on May results. A year ago, sales
benefited from fiscal stimulus checks. And Wal-Mart Stores Inc.,
which has recently reported positive results, stopped issuing
monthly sales data as of this month. That is likely to hurt overall
results. Analysts expect a 4.1 percent drop.
Same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, are a
key indicator of retailer performance because they measure growth
at existing stores rather than newly opened ones.