Discounters show positive movement in January

New York City -- Costco Wholesale Corp. reported a January same-store sales increase of 9%, topping Wall Street expectations and leading the performances of the discount retail category.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a smaller same-store sales increase of 6.1%.

Target Corp. didn’t show the same strength, missing expectations because of strong winter storms during the month. Same-store sales edged up 1.7% for the month, missing the 1.9% increase predicted by Wall Street.

"Target's January comparable-store sales were below expectations, particularly in portions of the South and the Northeast," said CEO Gregg Steinhafel. Target said it expects February same-store revenue to rise by a percentage in the low single digits.

BJ’s Wholesale Club had more than just same-store sales to report. The discounter, which saw same-store sales rise 2.7%, said Thursday that it has decided “to explore and evaluate strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company,” according to a New York Times report. (See related story.)

In other same-store sales results for January: 

  • TJX reported a 2% rise.
  • Sales at Ross Stores were up 3%.
  • Big Lots saw flat comps during the month.
  • Fred’s reported a 3.3% rise.
  • Duckwall-ALCO same-store sales edged up 0.2%.
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