There were encouraging signs that the slide in US retailers’ sales performance may be slowing as retailers released their like-for-like sales for August.

Most notably, Target’s like-for-likes improved from a 6.5% year-on-year decline in July to a decline of 2.9% in August.

Like-for-like declines at club store operators Costco and BJ’s Wholesale Club also improved to -4% and -6% respectively.

In the department store sector JC Penney and Macy’s both saw declines improve, but Nordstrom and Saks saw further weakening, with Saks’ August like-for-like sales plummeting 19.6%.