Victoria's Secret parent Limited Brands Inc
Limited, which also owns Bath & Body Works, said on Thursday that sales at stores open at least a year rose 8 percent last month, above the analysts' average forecast of 6.2 percent compiled by Thomson Reuters.
So far six retailers, including Stage Stores
Improving consumer confidence is one reason analysts expect February same-store sales to be up 3.4 percent for the 21 companies tracked in Thomson Reuters' same-store sales index.
Other chains, including Macy's Inc
The housing market appears to be stabilizing, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent in January from 9.1 percent in August. The University of Michigan's consumer confidence survey rose for the sixth straight month in February.
And the surging stock market, which this week hit its highest levels since May 2008 financial meltdown, has been a boon for upscale chains like Saks Inc
But the rising price of gasoline is casting a pall on consumer spending. As of Thursday, a gallon of gas in the United States cost $3.74, up 35 cents from a year earlier, according to the American Automobile Association.
On Wednesday, Costco Wholesale Corp
Home decoration and furniture chain Pier 1 Imports Inc
(Reporting By Phil Wahba in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)