Macy’s, Kohl’s report strong September showings, J.C. Penney flounders

New York City -- Macy’s saw same-store sales rise 4.9% in September, beating Wall Street’s expected 4.4% increase, and total sales surged 5.3% to $2.298 billion in the five-week period.

“We continued to see a strong sales trend in September at both Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s,” said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and CEO of Macy’s. “Our sales performed well both in stores and online. This underscores that our business remains on track, despite the persistently negative macroeconomic news.”

Lundgren said the chain is confident it will continue to gain market share as it heads toward the holiday selling season. The chain said its third-quarter outlook is expected to be on the high-end of previous projections for a 4% to 4.5% increase.

J.C. Penney, however, turned in a much weaker performance, reporting a 0.6% dip in same-store sales, compared to a 5.1% increase last year. A 0.6% gain was expected in September and the retailer said it now expects flat same-store sales for the quarter rather than the previously projected 2% to 3% gain. Total sales decreased 3.6% in September.

Kohl’s Corp. handily beat projections, reporting a same-store sales increase of 4.1%. A 2.2% increase was expected. The department store retailer received a boost from its Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony line introductions in September, which “generated excited,” said CEO Kevin Mansell.

Nordstrom also shone in September, posting a 10.7% same-store sales rise that beat expectations of a 5.2% increase. The luxury retailer was boosted by strong showings in dresses, handbags and designer merchandise.

Saks, too, represented the luxury category well, recording a 9.3% rise when 6.5% was projected.

In other department store same-store sales news:

  • Dillard’s same-store sales rose 4%.
  • Bon-Ton decreased 3.6%.
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