Retail sales for July failed to meet expectations, as high unemployment rates continue to take their toll on consumers.
The 28 retailers tracked by Thomson Reuters reported a 2.9 percent rise in July sales at stores open at least one year, with 17 reporting lower-than-expected sales, and nine beating estimates.
Among those beating expectations were department store operators Macy's Inc. and Kohl's Corp.
Meanwhile, JC Penney Co and Dillards Inc both experienced unexpected same-store declines for July.
Despite the disappointing results, July marked the 11th straight month of improving sales for the sector. During July 2009, sales fell 5.1 percent.