Same-store sales up at Macy’s, down at J.C. Penney and Kohl’s

New York City Macy’s outdid rivals J.C. Penney and Kohl’s in October, posting a gain in same-store sales and exceeding analysts’ expectations. Kohl’s and J.C. Penney both posted declines in the same metric.

Macy’s on Thursday reported a 2.5% increase in same-store sales in October and also lifted its second-half profit view. The company reported total sales of $1.807 billion for the four weeks ended Oct. 30, up 6.8% compared with last year.

“Overall, we are pleased with our sales performance in the third quarter and the continued results of major strategies including our My Macy’s localization initiative. Bloomingdale’s sales continued to be strong in October and the third quarter,” said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive of Macy’s. “Our repurchase of another $500 million of debt in the third quarter reflects our strong cash position, as well as our confidence about the strength of the business going forward.”

For third quarter 2010, the company’s total sales were $5.624 billion, an increase of 6.6% compared with total sales of $5.277 billion in the same 13-week period last year. On a same-store basis, Macy’s third-quarter sales were up 3.9%.

J.C. Penney Co. said that its October same-store sales fell 1.9%. Analysts, on average, had expected same-store sales to rise 1%, according to Thomson Reuters. Total sales for the four weeks ended Oct. 30 fell 3.3% to $1.27 billion.

Geographically, J.C. Penney’s best performing regions were the northeast and southwest regions, as compared to the central and northwest regions where unseasonably warm temperatures impacted sales, especially in certain apparel categories. Overall, shoes and men’s apparel were the top performing divisions, the retailer said, while sales of Liz Claiborne merchandise (available only at J.C. Penney’s) continue to perform ahead of expectations.

Kohl’s posted a 2.5% decrease in October same-store sales compared with analysts’ forecasts for a 2.3% rise. The retailer said that it experienced lower sales in the first two weeks of the month due to unseasonable weather.

In the luxury segment, Saks reported an 8.1% jump in same-store sales, ahead of a forecast of 2% in a survey of analysts.

Nordstrom also did better than expected, posting a 3.4% increase. In a prerecorded call, the retailer reported that its strongest categories in October included jewelry, dresses and women's shoes. It said sales grew the most in the Northwest and Northeast, while California stores remained weak.

  • Dillard's said same-store sales dipped 1% in October, mirroring a slight decline in overall sales for the month.
  • Bon-Ton Stores’ sales slipped 4.2% in October, below Wall Street expectations, hurt by unseasonably warm weather that led customers to hold off on buying cold-weather items.

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