Kohl’s, J.C. Penney and Macy’s beat forecasts

New York City Department store retailers continued to show strength in August, with Kohl’s, J.C. Penney and Macy’s all beating analysts expectations.

At Kohl's Corp., same-store sales rose 4.5% in August on strong sales of home and men's merchandise, and footwear. The results topped analysts estimates of a 2.6% increase.

Year-to-date, same-store sales climbed 5.7%, and total revenue improved 9% to $9.55 billion.

Macy's said its same-store sales rose 4.3% in August as back-to-school shoppers flocked to its stores. It results were better than the 4% gain anticipated by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

Total revenue for the month rose 6.2% to $1.64 billion, up from $1.54 billion, a year earlier.

Chairman and CEO Terry Lundgren said back-to-school business has been strong, thanks in part to robust sales of Madonna's new clothing line, Material Girl, and its largest private brand in juniors and young mens, American Rag.

"We are particularly encouraged by the response from our customers to new fall fashion," he said in a statement.

For the year to date, Macy’s sales totaled $12.749 billion, up 7.1% from $11.905 billion in the first 30 weeks of 2009. Year-to-date same-store sales were up 5%.

Online sales (Macys.com and Bloomingdales.com combined) were up 22.2% in August and 29.8% year to date. (Online sales are included in the same-store sales calculation for Macy's)

J.C. Penney Co. also did better than expected in August. The company reported a 2.3% increase in same-store sales, with strongest results from men’s and children’s apparel. Analysts, on average, had expected same-store sales to rise 1.6%.

J.C. Penney’s new exclusive kids apparel brands, Uproar and Supergirl by Nastia, performed well. And overall sales were robust in key categories such as tops, back packs and denim in junior's and young men's. J.C. Penney also said that sales were “solid” for its fast fashion brand MNG by Mango. It installed Mango departments in 77 stores so far and plans to have 600 by this time next year.

Geographically, the southeast and southwest regions were the best performing regions in August, the company said.

J.C. Penney’s total sales for the four weeks ended August 28 rose 0.8% to $1.44 billion.

In other department store same-store results for August:

  • Nordstrom reported a 6.3% gain, better than the 5.9% increase forecast by analysts. Jewelry, dresses and women's shoes were among the best sellers during the month. Sales in the South, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions were the strongest while Southern California was weaker.

  • Saks said Thursday its revenue in stores open at least a year rose 1% in August as lower clearance inventory hampered sales. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected the figure to rise 4.3%

  • Dillard's said Thursday that revenue in department stores open at least one year was flat in August, better than the decline analysts expected.

  • Bon-Ton Stores said Thursday that revenue in its stores open at least a year fell 4.6% in August as hot weather hurt sales of early fall merchandise.

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