Shoppers flocked to off-pricers in December

Retail Editor 5, January 5, 2012

New York - Christmas stockings were filled, it seems, with value-priced gifts from off-price retailers, leading Ross Stores and TJX Cos. to ring up the strongest comp store sales results in December.

In both cases, comps beat expectations. Comps were up 9% at Ross and 8% at TJX.

Close behind with a 6.2% comp gain was Macy's. The department store is "solidly on track to exceed our expectations for same-store sales in the fourth quarter," said Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and ceo.

Dillard's has been enjoying stronger sales and comp trends in recent months, and December was no different. The department store chain posted the fifth strongest comp results - up 4.0% - among the 12 key retailers tracked monthly by HTT.

A 1.6% comp was below expectations for Target Corp, as growth in the grocery and beauty categories offset softness in electronics and music, movies and books, according Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and ceo.

Stein Mart's comps were flat for the month and the company identified home textiles as one of its weaker departments.

Comp declines were recorded at:


  • Bon-Ton Stores, down 0.7%;
  • Fred's Inc., down 0.4%;
  • Duckwall-Alco, down 0.3%;
  • Kohl's Corp., down 0.1%.


The Jonson Redbook Same-Store Sales Index for December was up 3.5%. Among the retailers tracked by Redbook - which includes department stores, discounters, and apparel specialists - 67% posted comps gains and 32% posted declines.



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