FINANCE

Costco, Target, Kohl’s and TJX beat estimates

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Discounters reported strong-than-expected sales for August, fueled by back-to-school shopping, promotions and cooler weather in the Northeast.

Costco Wholesale Corp.’s same-store sales in August rose 6%, beating the 4.5% rise analysts had projected.

Target Corp. reported a 4.2% increase in same-store sales, better than the 3.1% increase that analysts had expected.

"Sales were stronger in the second half of the month as guests responded to Target’s broad assortment and compelling value for their back-to-school and back-to-college shopping, " said Gregg Steinhafel, Target’s chairman, president and CEO.

The TJX Cos. also beat projections, with an 8% increase in same-store sales for August. "Once again, the strength of our performance was broad based," TJX Cos. CEO Carol Meyrowitz said. "Customer traffic drove the comp sales increase across our divisions in the U.S., Canada and Europe, which we believe is a great indicator that our value proposition continues to resonate with consumers."

At Kohl’s Corp., same-store sales increased 3.4% in August, easily beating Wall Street’s forecast. Company chairman, president and CEO Kevin Mansell said in a statement that Kohl’s August results were helped by better merchandise, improved inventory levels and its marketing strategies. The best performing categories for the four weeks ended Aug. 27 including footwear, men’s and children’s.

Ross Stores’ August revenue at stores open at least a year climbed 8 percent as shoppers looked for back-to-school bargains. The performance topped analysts’ estimates.

Fred’s Inc. saw its same-store sales fall 2.8% in August, but the company said sales picked up a bit at the end of the month because of back-to-school shopping. Analysts expected a larger 4.3% drop.

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FINANCE

Sears down on removal from S&P 500 New York

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Shares of Sears Holdings were under heavy selling pressure Thursday morning, sliding 7% to $53.38 on Standard & Poor’s. S&P plans to remove the chain from its S&P 500 Index because the chain’s public float has has been below the index’s 50% threshold for an extended period of time.

The Sears’ name, in one form or another, has been in the S&P 500 since it was created some 55 years ago. Sears will be removed from the index at the close of trading on Sept. 4. The retailer will be replaced by chemical maker LyondellBasell.

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News

Kroger fuels up the savings at the pump

BY CSA STAFF

CINCINNATI— Kroger is extending its summer fuel savings program through the fall and holiday seasons. Customers can now earn and redeem fuel points to save up to $2.00 off per gallon at Kroger Family of Stores Fuel Centers through Dec. 31.

"At our customers’ request we are pleased to extend our special offer doubling potential fuel savings up to $2.00 per gallon through the busy fall and holiday shopping seasons," said Michael Donnelly, Kroger’s SVP of merchandising.

Points can be earned and redeemed at most but not all Kroger Family of Stores locations, and restrictions vary by local market.

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