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Cary Allington of ActionWatch sent me some grim figures for core stores in September. What is really troubling is the worst of the financial crisis hit in October, which means sales were likely worse that month.
Here's Cary's report on September sales at core doors in the ActionWatch panel.
"September "same-store" sales were the worst so far this year for core shops on the ActionWatch Retail Panel. Overall sales revenues were down over 12% compared to September last year.
"Even dresses, which showed strong increases over last year in every month prior to September, had a stumble with revenues down 3% compared to September 2007.
"Fleece Tops were down over 26% compared to last year, a trend which could have a significant impact on store revenues if it continues into the category's high selling holiday season.
"One bright spot was male-gender shoes, which continued to have sales growth over last year with a 6.4% increase (although the Footwear category overall was down).
"A few of the significant product classes were down only by single digits, but most were down by more than 10%. It was a difficult month."
Here's a chart outlining category performance.