For instance the fashion retailer American Apparel announced January comparable store sales (excluding shops opened in the recent 12 months) increased 10%, including a 7% increase in comparable store sales for its retail store channel and a 24% increase in net sales for its online channel (finance.yahoo). Same-store sales at Macy’s, the second-largest U.S. department-store chain, advanced about 12%, surpassing the average projection of 5 percent from analysts surveyed by researcher Retail Metrics Inc. Gap, the largest U.S. apparel chain, boosted sales 8%, doubling the average estimate of 4 percent. Target, the second-largest U.S. discounter, posted a gain of 3.1%, above projections of 1.7% (bloomberg).
These numbers show that the US consumers are still optimistic - in spite of all the doom & gloom in the media. The rising retail sales are financed by the healing job market, the gains on the stock market and the recovering home prices. These retail sales are another proof that the engine of the economy, the consumer spending, is still going strong.
It looks like that American Apparel and others also benefitted from their sexy advertising campaigns and alluring offerings. It seems that American consumers still are willing and capable to spend more money, especially for hot apparel. Sex sells.