FINANCE

Department Store Sales Slip in July

BY CSA STAFF

Department stores generally saw their sales slip in July as consumers continued to head to discount stores.

Department store J.C. Penney Co. said Thursday its same-store sales fell 6.5% on drops in demand for fine jewelry and home items.

The retailer said women’s apparel, family shoes and children’s were its top performers in July, while fine jewelry and home experienced the weakest demand. The northeast and central regions were the best performing regions, while the southeast and southwest continued to experience softer sales, according to the company.

However, J.C. Penney raised its second-quarter earnings guidance, citing better demand for sale merchandise and cost-cutting efforts. The company said it now expects to post a second-quarter profit of 50? to 52? per share, up from its previous prediction of 38? per share.

J.C. Penney attributed the guidance increase to a better-than-expected sell-through of promotionally priced items and continued expense-management efforts during the quarter.

Dillard’s Inc. said Thursday that same-store sales rose 2% in July, beating Wall Street estimates as it had above-average sales in its central region. The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. said same-store sales rose 0.7% in July, helped by a back-to-school promotion.

Kohl’s Corp. said Thursday its same-store sales fell 10.4% in July, missing Wall Street analysts’ estimates, due to lower inventory of spring and summer merchandise. The company said its sales were affected by lower inventory levels of spring and summer items, which were sold on clearance during the month.

Saks said Thursday its July same-store sales fell 5.3%. Analysts, on average, had expected the same-store sales to fall 0.1%. Nordstrom Inc. said its July sales fell 6.1%. Analysts, on average, had expected the sales to fall 6.2%,

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Best Buy to open at Mall of America

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy will open its doors on Aug. 7 at the nation’s largest mall, the Mall of America, in Bloomington, Minn.

.Mall of America is one of the world’s premiere shopping and tourist destinations. Becoming part of the Mall of America community means that we are able to give people from around the globe the opportunity to interact with our great employees and experience Best Buy,” said Brian Dunn, president and coo of Best Buy. “We are excited to bring the latest in technology and services to this popular venue. Our new 45,000 square-foot store gives us a prominent presence within the mall, which is only a short distance from our U.S.-based headquarters. We also look forward to hosting a number of special events at the Mall that will provide our customers with amazing and inspiring entertainment experiences. 

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Best Buy completes mobile store rollout

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy announced that it has completed the nationwide rollout of Best Buy Mobile. According to the company, the conversion of 965 U.S. stores to Best Buy Mobile was finished three months ahead of schedule.

Customers let us know quickly that they dreaded shopping for a mobile phone anywhere in the United States, whether with us or anyone else. Wireless customers are asking for more choice and more attention to their individual needs, and our new concept provides that, said Shawn Score, president of Best Buy Mobile. Where the new experience has been available, our customer satisfaction scores are through the roof a direct result of the dedication and cooperation of thousands of employees in our stores and our corporate office to develop this unique and exciting set of customer choices and experiences. 

Best Buy Mobile was created as a joint venture with leading U.K. mobile retailer CarPhone Warehouse (CPW); the chain-wide conversion began in October 2006 and was completed this week, including more than 250,000 hours of intensive employee training, based largely on CPWs industry-leading training programs in the United Kingdom.

In May 2008, Best Buy and CPW agreed to form a new venture to expand the CPW and Best Buy brands throughout Europe, with Best Buy acquiring a 50 percent stake in CPWs European retail operations.

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