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December comps mostly positive

New York - Key retailers by and large were encouraged by their December sales and comp results, as most posted increases - but some increases were lower than expected.

  • Costco Wholesale Club: up 8.0%.
  • Ross Stores : up 6.0%, ahead of expectations for a 2-3% increase.
  • TJMaxx Cos.: up 6.0%. Customer traffic drove the comp increases at all divisions.
  • Stein Mart: up 5.9% thanks to strong sales in sales in linens, ladies' boutique and ladies' career sportswear.
  • Macy's Inc.: up 4.1%, slightly below expectations. Online sales for macys.com and bloomingdales.com combined were up 51.7% in December and 40.4% year-to-date.
  • Kohl's: up 3.4%, which was lower than expected as promotional activity exceeded plan.
  • The Bon-Ton Stores: up 2.4%.
  • Alco Stores: up 1.1%
  • Target Corp.: flat at 0.0% and below expectations. A late surge did not compensate for weakness during the first three weeks of the month.
  • Fred's: down 4.2%, with lower purchases of discretionary and weather-related merchandise.

December's overall same-store sales rose 4.1%, according to the Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index.

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