Flat apparel comps reflect overall mixed bag

NEW YORK — Target's flat apparel and accessories for the month of November reflected a mixed sales environment across the department-store and specialty-apparel sectors as the economy continues to affect discretionary spending.

Macy’s Inc., helped in part by earlier store openings on Black Friday, reported a same-store sales rise of 4.8% in November, topping the 3.9% gain expected by Wall Street. The department store retailer’s online sales at macys.com and Bloomingdales.com rose a whopping 49.6% in November, and those results are included in Macy’s same-store revenue results.

Other department stores reporting same-store sales growth for November included Nordstrom with a 5.6% gain, Kohl's with 6.2% gain that beat expectations for 2% growth and Saks with a 9.3% gain.

JCPenney stood out with same-store sales that fell 2% in November, which the company said was hurt by the decision to open stores at 4 a.m. on Black Friday instead of opening Thanksgiving evening at least by midnight. Analysts expected a decline of 1.6% in the month.

Among apparel retailers, The Limited turned in a strong performance, recording a 7% rise in November same-store sales, handily beating Wall Street’s expected 4.4% gain. However, both Gap Inc. and Wet Seal saw their comps decline by 5% and 3.1% respectively for the month of November.


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