J.C. Penney disappoints, Dillard’s shines in January

New York City -- Dillard’s was the clear winner in the department store category in January, posting a same-store sales increase of 6%, which edged results from both Macy’s and Saks.

J.C. Penney Co. was the big disappointment, as same-store sales dropped an unexpected 1.2%. A survey of analysts by Thomson Reuters produced a consensus estimate of same-store sales up 1.8%.

The retailer said January sales were impacted by lower levels of clearance inventory as well as by adverse weather conditions.

J.C. Penney did lift is fourth-quarter outlook, however.

Among the other department stores reporting January sales results, Macy’s saw a 2.6% same-store increase. 

“January represented a successful conclusion to a great year of sales growth at Macy’s,” said Terry J. Lundgren, president and CEO. “While sales in January were restrained by the series of snowstorms that caused widespread store closings along the East Coast and in the Southeast U.S., we continued to benefit from the underlying strength in our business.

Lundgren cited strong performance from the company’s My Macy’s localization program as well as the retailer’s e-commerce channels.

Kohl's Corp. said Thursday its January same-store sales rose 1.4%, less than Wall Street analysts expected.

"The Midwest region reported the strongest comp sales for the month on a regional basis, with the Northeast region being most affected by snowstorms during the month," the company said.

In the upscale segment, Nordstrom said its same-store sales climbed 4.8%, handily beating the average expectation of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for a 2.8% increase.

Saks, which reported a same-store sales increase of 4.4% in January, said its strongest categories were women’s designer apparel, dresses, shoes, handbags and fragrances.

Elsewhere in the department store sector, Bon-Ton same-store sales edged up 0.3%.

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