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Costco, Target, Kohl's and TJX beat estimates

New York -- Discounters reported strong-than-expected sales for August, fueled by back-to-school shopping, promotions and cooler weather in the Northeast.

Costco Wholesale Corp.'s same-store sales in August rose 6%, beating the 4.5% rise analysts had projected.

Target Corp. reported a 4.2% increase in same-store sales, better than the 3.1% increase that analysts had expected.

"Sales were stronger in the second half of the month as guests responded to Target's broad assortment and compelling value for their back-to-school and back-to-college shopping, " said Gregg Steinhafel, Target's chairman, president and CEO.

The TJX Cos. also beat projections, with an 8% increase in same-store sales for August. "Once again, the strength of our performance was broad based," TJX Cos. CEO Carol Meyrowitz said. "Customer traffic drove the comp sales increase across our divisions in the U.S., Canada and Europe, which we believe is a great indicator that our value proposition continues to resonate with consumers."

At Kohl's Corp., same-store sales increased 3.4% in August, easily beating Wall Street's forecast. Company chairman, president and CEO Kevin Mansell said in a statement that Kohl's August results were helped by better merchandise, improved inventory levels and its marketing strategies. The best performing categories for the four weeks ended Aug. 27 including footwear, men's and children's.

Ross Stores' August revenue at stores open at least a year climbed 8 percent as shoppers looked for back-to-school bargains. The performance topped analysts' estimates.

Fred's Inc. saw its same-store sales fall 2.8% in August, but the company said sales picked up a bit at the end of the month because of back-to-school shopping. Analysts expected a larger 4.3% drop.

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