Kohl’s tops Street, J.C. Penney misses

New York City -- Kohl's Corp. reported a 3.9% rise in same-store sales in October, better than analysts’ expectations, amid strong demand for its new Jennifer Lopez and Mark Anthony brands.

In a statement, CEO Kevin Mansell said that customers responded favorably to the pair of new brands, as well as the company's marketing programs.

“As we enter the important fourth quarter, we plan to continue our investment in marketing, especially digital and broadcast, to drive customer traffic and broaden our reach,” he said.

Macy's reported that its same-store sales rose 2.2% in October, missing analysts' estimates of 3.6%. The retailer said sales were hurt by the snowstorm at the end of the month and warm weather in the rest of the month.

“Sales of cold-weather products such as coats, hats and sweaters were soft for most of October as the weather stayed unseasonable warm, but they began to normalize once temperatures turned cooler,” said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and CEO, Macy’s. “Ironically, sales were negatively impacted by the snowstorm in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states last Saturday, the final sales day of the October period.”

The retailer said sales were also hurt by the company’s decision to move its Shop For A Cause event, where customers donate to local charities in exchange for access to sales, from October to August.

Macy’s noted that same-store sales rose 4% in the third quarter, which covers August through October, and that it expects the metric to rise 4 to 4.5% in the fourth quarter.
At J.C. Penney, same-store sales fell 2.6% in October. Analysts, on average, had expected the metric to rise 1%. Total sales for the four weeks ended Oct. 29 fell 6.6% to $1.19 billion.

While sales overall were soft, women's apparel and accessories experienced sales gains, the company said, and the Southeast was the top performing region.

Luxury department stores, which had benefited from brisk spending in recent months, showed weakness in October. At Saks, same-store sales rose 1.8% compared to the 5.4% gain that analysts had expected. Nordstrom had a 5.4% increase, below the 6.4% gain that Wall Street expected.

  • Dillard’s sales soared 8%. Analysts, on average, had expected same-store sales to rise 3.7%.
  • The Bon-Ton Stores’ sales fell 10.2%. Net revenue fell 10.4% to $192 million. The chain cut its guidance for the year on Thursday, saying it could report a loss, and also lowered its predictions for yearly cash flow.
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