Macy’s, J.C. Penney fall short in July

New York City Department stores, among the retailers hardest hit by the recession, struggled in July, as cautious consumers continued to hold back their spending.

The nation’s largest department store company, Macy’s, said Thursday its same-store sales fell 10.7% in July, a bigger drop than analysts expected. However, it offered second-quarter guidance above analyst expectations.

For the second quarter ended Aug. 1, Macy’s same-store sales fell 9.5%, while total sales fell 10% to $5.17 billion.

J.C. Penney Co. also fell short of analysts’ expectations. Same-store sales fell 12.3% in July, a slightly bigger drop than analysts predicted.

Analysts on average expected J.C. Penney’s same-store sales to fall 11.4%. The company itself had predicted a 13% to 16% drop.

Stage Stores said its July same-store sales fell 11.9%, a bigger drop than expected, and total sales for the second quarter fell 8% to $342 million.

Performing better than analysts had expected was Nordstrom Inc., whose same-store sales declined 6.9% in July. Analysts had expected a larger 11.1% drop.

Saks said Thursday that same-store sales fell 16.3% in July, nearly even with analyst predictions.

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