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J.C. Penney disappoints, Dillard’s shines in January

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Dillard’s was the clear winner in the department store category in January, posting a same-store sales increase of 6%, which edged results from both Macy’s and Saks.

J.C. Penney Co. was the big disappointment, as same-store sales dropped an unexpected 1.2%. A survey of analysts by Thomson Reuters produced a consensus estimate of same-store sales up 1.8%.

The retailer said January sales were impacted by lower levels of clearance inventory as well as by adverse weather conditions.

J.C. Penney did lift is fourth-quarter outlook, however.

Among the other department stores reporting January sales results, Macy’s saw a 2.6% same-store increase.

“January represented a successful conclusion to a great year of sales growth at Macy’s,” said Terry J. Lundgren, president and CEO. “While sales in January were restrained by the series of snowstorms that caused widespread store closings along the East Coast and in the Southeast U.S., we continued to benefit from the underlying strength in our business.

Lundgren cited strong performance from the company’s My Macy’s localization program as well as the retailer’s e-commerce channels.

Kohl’s Corp. said Thursday its January same-store sales rose 1.4%, less than Wall Street analysts expected.

"The Midwest region reported the strongest comp sales for the month on a regional basis, with the Northeast region being most affected by snowstorms during the month," the company said.

In the upscale segment, Nordstrom said its same-store sales climbed 4.8%, handily beating the average expectation of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for a 2.8% increase.

Saks, which reported a same-store sales increase of 4.4% in January, said its strongest categories were women’s designer apparel, dresses, shoes, handbags and fragrances.

Elsewhere in the department store sector, Bon-Ton same-store sales edged up 0.3%.

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Discounters show positive movement in January

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Costco Wholesale Corp. reported a January same-store sales increase of 9%, topping Wall Street expectations and leading the performances of the discount retail category.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a smaller same-store sales increase of 6.1%.

Target Corp. didn’t show the same strength, missing expectations because of strong winter storms during the month. Same-store sales edged up 1.7% for the month, missing the 1.9% increase predicted by Wall Street.

"Target’s January comparable-store sales were below expectations, particularly in portions of the South and the Northeast," said CEO Gregg Steinhafel. Target said it expects February same-store revenue to rise by a percentage in the low single digits.

BJ’s Wholesale Club had more than just same-store sales to report. The discounter, which saw same-store sales rise 2.7%, said Thursday that it has decided “to explore and evaluate strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company,” according to a New York Times report. (See related story.)

In other same-store sales results for January:

  • TJX reported a 2% rise.
  • Sales at Ross Stores were up 3%.
  • Big Lots saw flat comps during the month.
  • Fred’s reported a 3.3% rise.
  • Duckwall-ALCO same-store sales edged up 0.2%.

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Walmart Latin America: ‘Sustainagility’ as key to profitable growth

BY CSA STAFF

Miami — Walmart Latin America CEO Eduardo Solorzano said Thursday in a speech that Walmart is using the company’s expertise in sustainability as a means for profitable growth.

In his address at the annual "Outlook of the Americas" luncheon of the Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Miami, Solorzano said, "We are sharing best practices across markets and developing new formats to serve the unique customs and needs of Latin America customers, but it will take leveraging the company’s expertise in sustainability to manage costs."

According to Solorzano, Walmart will move more aggressively to integrate a holistic sustainability plan that will bring the company to 100% renewable energy and zero waste. “We call it ‘sustainagility,’” he said.

Walmart opened its first store in Latin America, a Sam’s Club, in Mexico 20 years ago.

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