Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Retail Sales Grow Modestly through July / Continue First Half Trend

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Retail Sales Grow Modestly through July / Continue First Half Trend

Article excerpt

the slow growth trend of the first half of 1987, the nation's major general retailers reported Thursday.

Analysts said continued high levels of consumer debt, slow growth in consumer income and the retailers' attempts to keep inventories low - which lessens the need for clearance sales - helped curb sales growth.

``Gains would have been better had there been more clearance merchandise,'' said Monroe Greenstein, an analyst at Bear Stearns Cos. Inc.

Sales figures for major general retailers - which do not include retailers such as grocery stores or auto dealers - are considered a key measure of consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.

Sears Roebuck & Co., the nation's largest general retailer, reported its July sales were up 2.4 percent from the same month last year. Sales for the 26 weeks ended Aug. 1 were 3.7 percent higher than for the same period in 1986.

K mart Corp. said its July sales jumped 7.2 percent higher from last year, while sales for the 26 weeks ended July 29 were up 8.2 percent from 1986. Sales for stores open at least one year were up 3.4 percent during the month and 3.9 percent during the 26 week-period.

J.C. Penney Co. reported its worldwide sales rose 2.6 percent during the month, and 5.1 percent in the 26 weeks. For stores open at least a year, sales were up 2.3 percent during the month and 4.8 percent during the 26 weeks.

Federated Department Stores Inc. said its July sales rose 6.8 percent from last year, while sales grew 7.5 percent in the 26 weeks ended Aug. 1.

Minneapolis-based Dayton Hudson Corp. reported 15.7 percent growth in its retail sales for July, and 13. …

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