FINANCE

Stop & Shop Expands Banking Services

BY CSA STAFF

Quincy, Mass. By extending its partnership with Citizens Financial Group, Stop & Shop plans to operate bank branches at its stores through 2017.

Citizens Financial Group currently operates 152 branches in Stop & Shop stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and New York. Its partnership with the supermarket chain began in 2000, with the first branch opening up in Rhode Island. Citizens Financial Group currently has deals to operate banks at 28 other retailers.

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JCPenney reports weak March sales

BY CSA STAFF

PLANO, Texas JCPenney reported that comparable-store sales decreased 12.3% for the five weeks ended April 5, consistent with the company’s most recent guidance. This compares with an 11% increase in last year’s period. Total sales in March decreased 10.3%.

According to the company, sales declines during the month were broad-based across most merchandise categories and areas of the country, including soft sales over the Easter period. Customers are responding positively to new American Living product across all categories in which it is available, and Sephora inside JCPenney continues to experience strong sales results.

Managements guidance for the four-week period ending May 3, is for a mid- to high-single digit decrease in comparable-store sales, compared to a 3.4% decrease in last years April period. This guidance reflects the expectation for a continuation of recent trends and the benefit from an extra day of selling in this years April period.

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Kohl’s March comps tumble

BY CSA STAFF

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. Kohl’s reported today that sales for the five-week period ended April 5 decreased 7.9% over the five-week period ended April 7. On a comparable-store basis, sales decreased 15.5%. For the nine weeks ended April 5, total sales decreased 3.2% and comparable-store sales decreased 11.1%.

Larry Montgomery, Kohls chairman and ceo, commented, Sales in weather-sensitive businesses such as shorts, tanks, polos and sandals experienced significant declines on a comparable store basis, contributing to our sales shortfall. We have been conservative in our inventory planning and expense management and will continue to do so until the environment improves. 

The company now expects its first quarter comparable sales to be in the negative high-single digit range and its earnings to be 40 cents to 42 cents per diluted share.

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