Page last updated at 16:36 GMT, Friday, 15 May 2009 17:36 UK

Lower spending hits US retailers

JC Penney store
JC Penney warned of tough times ahead

Leading US retailers have been hit as consumers continue to tighten their belts, sending quarterly profits lower.

Abercrombie & Fitch saw a net loss of $26.8m (£17.6m) in the fiscal quarter to May 2, down from a profit of $62.1m in the same period a year earlier.

JC Penney saw profit in the same three month period decline to $25m from $120m in the same quarter a year earlier.

While JC Penney's results were in line with expectations, the firm warned that yearly profits would miss forecasts.

"We expect consumer spending and mall traffic to remain weak, which will be particularly evident against tough comparisons in the second quarter," said Penney chief executive Myron Ulman.

With consumers cutting their expenditure on non-essential items, clothes retailers have seen their sales fall.

JC Penney saw sales for the quarter fall 5.9% to $3.88bn, or 7.5% for stores open at least one year. Abercrombie & Fitch recorded a sales drop of 24% to $612.1m, with same-store sales down 30%.

A day earlier, upmarket retailer Nordstrom saw its sales fall for the quarter, though they beat expectations.



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