News

TJX and Ross shine in June

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — As discounters such as Target, Stein Mart and warehouse club operator Costco posted disappointing same-store sales results in June, TJX Cos. and Ross Stores shone with gains that surpassed Wall Street estimates. TJX saw a same-store sales rise of 7% in June, beating the 4.2% rise predicted by analysts. Ross was up 7% for the month, after Wall Street forecast a 4.8% increase. Sales rose 12% to $886 million in June. Both chains raised their second-quarter profit forecasts.

Target reported weaker-than-expected same-store sales growth, as June same-store sales rose 2.1% and missed the expected 2.4% rise. Sales for the month rose 2.6% to $6.4 billion, and the discounter reiterated its earnings forecast for its fiscal second quarter.

“Following better-than-expected performance in May, our June comparable-store sales were near the low end of our expected range," said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and CEO. "We believe these results, combined with our outlook for July, keep us on-track to deliver second quarter sales and adjusted EPS in line with the guidance we provided at the time of our first quarter earnings release.”

Costco Wholesale Corp. reported a 3% gain in monthly same-store sales, missing Wall Street’s forecasted 3.7% rise. Sales also missed Wall Street views.

Among other discount results:

  • Stein Mart same-store sales declined .5% in June, missing Wall Street’s expected 2% rise;
  • Fred’s dropped 4%, widely missing the projected .2% gain;
  • Cato Corp. same-store sales plummeted 10% in June;
  • Duckwall-ALCO declined 2.9%. Stage Stores beat expectations with a 3.3% rise; and
  • Stage Stores beat expectations with a 3.3% rise.
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FINANCE

Christopher & Banks to review $64 million buyout offer

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Plymouth, Minn. — Christopher & Banks Corp. said Tuesday it had received a takeover offer from private equity firm Aria Partners. The value set on the retailer is approximately $64 million.

The retailer said it will review the offer.

Aria currently owns 4% of Christopher & Banks shares.

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Macy’s and Kohl’s post disappointing results in June

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Analysts expected 18 top retail chains to report a modest gains in June, as high unemployment and falling consumer confidence have taken a toll on spending.

Among the department store retailers reporting June same-store results so far, the results were largely mixed. Macy’s was among the retailers reporting sales that fell short of estimates. Same-store sales rose 1.2% in June, missing Wall Street’s projected 1.9% gain.

“June sales were below expectations,” said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and CEO. “In part, this was a function of a macroeconomic environment that is stagnant at best, and lower spending by tourists in cities such as New York. Additionally, the unprecedented renovation at Macy’s Herald Square in New York City, the world’s largest store, is well under way but created more short-term business disruption than anticipated in the June sales period.”

The operator of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s generated total revenue in June of $2.41 billion, representing a slight 0.8% gain.

Kohl’s Corp. was also challenged in June, reporting a same-store sales decline of 4.2%, after Wall Street had forecasted just a 3.2% drop. Total sales for the month decreased 2.6%.

“Though June sales were again lower than expectations, we are encouraged by improved sales in the latter weeks of the month as we continued to build inventory levels,” said Kevin Mansell, president and CEO.

Among other department store retailers reporting so far:

  • Nordstrom same-store sales rose 8.1% in June, solidly beating Wall Street’s expected 4.7% gain;
  • Saks rose 6%, surpassing the forecasted 4.7% rise; and
  • Bon-Ton Stores same-store sales dipped .8% in June.
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