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Checkered April for Department Stores

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Department store retailers’ sales were all over the place in April, as mixed results were released late Thursday.

To summarize April same-store sales results, Dillard’s was down 4%, J.C. Penney was down 1.7%, Kohl’s was up 3.5%, Nordstrom was down 3.8%, Saks Inc. was up 23.9%, Neiman Marcus Inc. was down 1.9 % and Bon Ton Stores Inc. was down 0.9%.

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JCPenney improves April comps

BY CSA STAFF

PLANO, Texas JCPenney reported a comparable-store sales decrease of 1.7% for the four weeks ended May 3, 2008, compared to guidance for sales to decrease mid- to high-single digits and compared to a 3.4% decrease last year. According to the company, sales benefitted in the month from more favorable weather trends in some regions of the country that boosted seasonal apparel sales, and customer response to promotional and clearance activities.

Total company sales for the month were $1.33 billion compared with $1.32 billion last year. The top performing merchandise divisions during the month were in apparel and family footwear, while fine jewelry and home categories continued to experience weaker sales. Geographically, the best performing regions of the country were the Northeast and Central regions.

Management’s guidance for the four-week period ending May 31, is for a mid-single digit decrease in comparable store sales, compared to a 0.9% decrease in last year’s May period.

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Kohl’s reports strong April sales, raises outlook

BY CSA STAFF

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. Kohl’s reported that sales for the four-week period ended May 3, increased 12% to $1.3 billion from $1.1 billion last year. On a comparable-store basis, sales increased 3.5%.

Larry Montgomery, Kohls chairman and ceo, commented, We were encouraged by the improvement in our sales performance in April as business in seasonal categories improved. We will be conservative in our inventory planning and expense management as we continue to expect our customers to be cautious in their spending. 

As a result of Aprils performance, the company now expects earnings to exceed its previous guidance of 40 cents to 42 cents per diluted share.

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