FINANCE

Macy’s, Saks and J.C. Penney beat Street in July, Kohl’s disappoints as sales fall

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Department store retailers registered solid gains in July, with Macy’s, Saks and J.C. Penney all beating analysts’ estimates. Kohl’s, however, fell short of estimates as its sales fell.

At Macy’s, same-store sales rose 5% in July, beating analysts’ estimates of 4.1%. The company’s online sales (macys.com and bloomingdales.com combined) surged 36.7% in July, 40.2% in the second quarter and 39.2% in the first half of 2011.

Macy’s reported total sales of $1.6 billion for the four weeks ended July 30, 2011, an increase of 5.7% compared with the year-ago period.

“Store and online sales throughout the second quarter continued to be strong at both Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s,” said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and CEO, Macy’s. “In particular, sales have been driven by fresh, interesting and distinctive merchandise assortments that deliver value to our customer. The company’s performance is clearly benefitting from a re-energized, customer-focused growth culture that has embraced our strategies for localization, omnichannel integration and enhanced selling skills among our associates.”

Saks said its same-store sales jumped 15.6% far ahead of the 8.5% average forecast from Wall Street analysts, as sales of designer clothing and shoes rose.

Saks’ total revenue in July rose 13.8% to $191 million from $167.9 million ion a year earlier. For the second quarter, same-store sales rose 15.5%. Total revenue rose 12.8% to $583.3 million.

J.C. Penney reported a rise of 3.3% in its July same-store revenue on strong sales of women’s clothing and accessories and fine jewelry. Its results were better than analysts expected.

The chain said its Liz Claiborne, Modern Bride and Sephora sections boosted its monthly results.

At Kohl’s, same-store sales in July fell 4.6%, and total sales dropped 2.9% to $1.12 billion. Wall Street analysts had expected July same-store sales to rise 3.4%.

Kohl’s CEO Kevin Mansell called the July comp sales results “disappointing.”

“I am, however, especially pleased with our ability to manage our inventory and expenses resulting in better than planned gross margins as well as better than planned leverage on our expenses,” he said.

In other department store retailers’ July same-store sales results:

  • Nordstrom reported a 6.6% gain in sales.
  • The Bon-Ton Stores’ sales dipped 1.6%, as July sales of juniors, children’s, shoes and furniture disappointed.
  • Stage Stores’ sales inched up 0.8%, worse than the 2% predicted.
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FINANCE

Apparel retailers have mixed results in July

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — The nation’s specialty apparel retailers reported mixed results in July. as Hot Topic and Limited Brands turned in strong performances, while Gap and Aeropostale stumbled.

Hot Topic said its same-store sales rose 7.3% in July. far exceeding the 0.5% rise in analysts’ forecast. Hot Topic said the measure rose 6.2% at its namesake stores and rose 11.8% at its plus-sized Torrid division. The teen retailer also raised its second-quarter outlook.

At Limited Brands, same-store sales rose 6%, compared with analysts’ estimates of 4.2%. Sales were up 9% at Victoria’s Secret and 2% at Bath and Body Works.

Aeropostale said that its same-store sales for the second quarter fell 14%, worse than analysts expected. The chain cut its second-quarter outlook.

Net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2011 decreased 5% to $468.2 million, from $494.7 million in the year-ago period.

“We are very disappointed with our second-quarter financial results that were clearly unacceptable. As a result of a lack of balance in our merchandise assortments, as well as continued promotional and macroeconomic challenges, we significantly increased the depth and breadth of our promotions and markdowns," CEO Thomas Johnson said in a statement.

Gap reported that its same-store sales for July, including online sales, were down 5%. Same-store sales in North America for the company’s core division in fell 6%, worse than analysts expected, but the clothing seller reported total second-quarter revenue that topped Wall Street’s forecast. At Banana Republic North America, same-store sales fell 4%, and at Old Navy North America, sales fell 3%. Gap said same-store sales for its international division fell 10%.

In addition, Gap reported net sales for the second quarter, which ended July 30, 2011, increased 2% to $3.39 billion compared with $3.32 billion for the second quarter last year.

“While July proved to be challenging, we’re pleased that we grew net sales for the quarter and that we’re able to guide earnings per share above analyst expectations,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and CEO of Gap.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. said Thursday that its same-store sales rose 9% in the second quarter, with increases across all its brands. (Abercrombie no longer reports same-store sales on a monthly basis.) Sales were up 5% at Abercrombie & Fitch stores, 7% at Abercrombie kids stores and 12 % at Hollister Co.

Revenue rose 23% to $916.8 million from $745.8 million for the quarter ended July 30, better than analysts expected. Year-to-date, same-store sales are up 9%.

In other apparel same-store sales results for July:

  • Ross Stores’ saw its same-store sales increase 7.7% in July, and the company raised its second quarter estimate. The chain said dresses and shoes were its best-performing merchandise categories during the month, while Texas and Florida were its strongest markets.
  • At Zumiez, sales rose 4.9%, short of expectations. Zumiez said shoppers bought more shoes and men’s clothing during the period, but sales of accessories and boys clothing were soft. The retailer’s total revenue rose 12.3% to $38.7 million.
  • Wet Seal’s sales increased 7.4%, easily beating Wall Street’s estimate. Sales were up 7.8% for Wet Seal stores and 5 % for Arden B.
  • The Buckle said its sales rose 6.8%, short of analysts’ forecasts.
  • Cato Corp.’s sales fell 3%, which the chain attributed to difficult economic conditions for consumers.
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Kohl’s lags behind Macy’s, JCPenney in comps growth

BY CSA STAFF

CINCINNATI, MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis., and PLANO, Texas — Macy’s emerged as the big winner among department-store retailers this July, reporting sales growth that exceeded expectations. JCPenney also faired well for July, while Kohl’s sales disappointed.

Macy’s Inc. reported total sales of $1.6 billion for the four weeks ended July 30, an increase of 5% compared with total sales of $1.525 billion in the four weeks ended July 31, 2010. On a same-store basis, Macy’s Inc. sales were up 5% in July.

“Our July sales performance once again exceeded our expectations and represented a continuation of the balanced success we have seen throughout the year. Store and online sales throughout the second quarter continued to be strong at both Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. This is especially encouraging given the comparison to our robust same-store sales performance in July and second quarter last year,” said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Macy’s Inc.

JCPenney reported that total sales for July increased 1% to $1.17 million from $1.16 million for the same period last year. Comparable-store sales for the month were up 3.3%. According to the company, its strongest categories for the month were women’s apparel and accessories, and fine jewelry.

Kohl’s reported that total sales for July decreased 2.9% to $1.12 million from $1.16 million, and comparable-store sales decreased 4.6%.

Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, president and CEO, commented, “Our July comp sales results were disappointing, particularly given the strong June results we had achieved. I am, however, especially pleased with our ability to manage our inventory and expenses resulting in better than planned gross margins as well as better than planned leverage on our expenses. Early indications of customer reaction to higher apparel prices are in line with our expectations in terms of unit demand.”

Kohl’s said it now expects its second quarter earnings to be $1.07 to $1.08 per diluted share, compared with its previous guidance of 96 cents to $1.02 per diluted share.

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