The Great Regression: 8 Surprising Setbacks

While many retailers are on a path to recovery some formerly successful merchants have suddenly hit bumps in the road. May retail sales were down overall, but the surprising downturn packed a real wallop for these eight retailers, many of which target tweens and teens, such as The Buckle, PacSun and Wet Seal. Find out which merchants are hitting headwinds as they try to navigate the still treacherous economy.

American Eagle: The apparel chain reported its profit slipped to $10.9 million for the quarter ended May 1, 2010 from $22 million reported a year earlier. First quarter earnings plunged by half on losses from its failed Martin+OSA chain.

The Buckle: Despite posting stellar financial results during the recession, the apparel chain reported its same-store sales fell 5.4 percent for the four weeks ended May 29, 2010. Total revenue fell less than 1 percent to $60.3 million, from $60.6 million last year.

Duckwall-Alco: Sales at the variety store chain decreased 7.5 percent to $39.2 million in the four-week period ending May 30, 2010 compared to $42.3 million reported in the prior-year period. Same-store sales decreased 9 percent.

Hot Topic: The specialty chain reported net sales dropped 7.4 percent from last year to $42.6 million for the four-week period ended May 29, 2010. Same-store sales dropped 9 percent compared to last year

Pacific Sunwear: The West Coast-inspired retailer reported revenue fell 15 percent in its first quarter ended May 1, 2010. The chain announced a loss of $31 million, compared with a loss of $8.7 million in the year-ago quarter. Sales dropped to $190.3 million from $223.5 million last year.

Sears: While many department stores recently posted promising financial results, Sears announced net income fell 38 percent to $16 million in the quarter ended May 1, 2010 compared to $26 million reported a year earlier. Revenue fell slightly to $10.05 billion compared to $10.06 billion reported last year due to 63 fewer stores.

Wet Seal/Arden B: The trendy apparel chain reported total sales fell 4 percent to $40.2 million at its namesake brand in the four weeks ended May 29, 2010. Its Arden B division posted sales slid 10.5 percent to $7 million for the same period.

WH Smith: The UK-based specialty retailer posted sales declined 4 percent in the 14 weeks ended June 5, 2010, while sales at its travel shops also declined 4 percent. Total group sales dipped 3 percent compared to year-ago period.

For related content, see:

10 Retail Candidates for the Endangered Species List

10 Bankruptcies That Rocked Retailing in 2010

437 Retail Store Closings Signal Major Brand Restructuring

Big Losers 2010: Borders, Zale and Whole Foods Rocked 
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