Most retailers gain in September comps

New York -- Cheered by lower gas prices and more disposable income, consumers flocked to the malls and released a lot of pent-up demand during September, pushing same-store retail sales unexpectedly higher. The Johnson Redbook Flash Report, which tracks same-store sales at 62 major retailers, rose by 4.0%, easily topping a year-ago gain of 2.8% and a 2.9% increase in August.

The biggest winner by far, with no one else even close, was Kohl's -- which clearly hasn't heard that consumers are pulling back elsewhere -- where same-store sales jumped up a riveting 16.3%.

Carriage-trade retailer Saks Fifth Ave. pushed its comps up a heady 11.1%, twice the size of the August increase of 5.0%. TJX shot up by 9.0%, far above its 4.0% gain the month before. JCPenney pushed its comps up by 8.7% following an anemic gain of 0.7% the prior month. Target rose by 6.7%, twice the size of last month's 2.8% increase. And Federated soared by 6.2%, way ahead of the August increase of 3.8%.

Wal-Mart sales softened somewhat, rising by 1.3% -- half of the 2.7% increase a month ago. All three warehouse clubs reported slowing sales: Costco up 4.0% vs. 7.0% last month; Sam's up 1.1% vs. 3.4% in August; and BJ's down by 0.9%, reversing a 2.3% increase in August. Ditto the dollar stores: Dollar General up a skimpy 0.5% vs. last month's jump of 4.8%; and Family Dollar up by 2.2% vs. 4.0% last month.

One retailer that doesn't get much love these days is Pier 1; same-store sales continued their slide, falling 10.1%. But merchants there can take heart -- at least they're outperforming Sharper Image, where same-store sales plunged 21.0%.  For a chart of September sales at key retailers, click here.

Home & Textiles Today Staff | News & Commentary

 Home Textiles Today is the market-leading brand covering the home and textiles markets, offering a comprehensive package of print and online products. Home & Textiles Today provides industry news, product trends and introductions, exclusive industry research, consumer data, store operations solutions, trade show news and much more.

Featured Video

  • Live From New York: Fashion Comes Across the Pond

    Camera Icon More Videos

Subscribe to
Home & Textiles Today eDaily
Receive the news you need to know about the trends in the industry delivered right to your inbox.


HTT Cover October 2017

See the October 2017 issue of Home & Textiles Today. In this issue, we look at the Top 25 Online Retailers.  H&TT's exclusive annual ranking of the biggest online sellers of home textiles finds that while pure play etailers continue to fly, bricks & clicks are digging into omnichannel. See details!