NEW YORK (AP) — Several retailers reported modest sales gains for September as shoppers worried about a partial government shutdown and the overall economy pulled back their spending.
The results increase concerns about how shoppers will spend for the crucial holiday season, the year's most important period for retailers.
Revenue at stores opened at least a year — a measure of a retailer's health — rose 2.0 percent in September, according to a tally of 10 retailers by the International Council of Shopping Centers. That was a slower pace than the 3.5 percent increase posted in August.
L Brands, the parent of Victoria's Secret, and Costco Wholesale Corp. were among the chains that reported results that missed Wall Street estimates, while Stein Mart Inc. posted results that beat analysts' expectations. Gap Inc., which operates its namesake chain, Old Navy and Banana Republic, reported a surprise drop, stalling momentum it had enjoyed since early last year.
Only a sliver of retail chains report monthly sales figures, and the list doesn't include Wal-Mart Stores, Macy's Inc. and many other large chains. But the available reports offer some clues into consumer spending heading into the holiday shopping season.
September was a difficult month. Warmer-than-usual weather hurt sales of sweaters and other fall clothes. But economic concerns also dampened sales.