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March comps shine for most key retailers


New York - This winter's unusually warm weather coupled with Easter falling two weeks earlier than last year made for sunny same-store sales for many key retailers.

As has been the case for several consecutive months, the strongest performers were off-price competitors TJX Cos. and Ross Stores followed closely by Target and Macy's. All reported better-than-expected comps.

Once again, those posting the weakest results included mid-tier department stores Bon-Ton and Stein Mart.

Among the 10 stores HTT tracks monthly, only Fred's reported flat comps.

  • Ross Stores, up 10%. Home not mentioned among the best perfomers.
  • TJX Cos., up 10%. MarMaxx home comps up just 1%, though comps at Home Goods rose 6%. Combined overall comps for Canada - Winners and Home Sense - rose 8%.
  • Macy's, up 7.3%. No mention of home performance. Online sales for Macy's and Bloomingdales combined rose 39% last month.
  • Target Corp., up 7.3%. Home comps were up in the low single digit range.
  • Costco Wholesale Corp., up 5% for the U.S. division, excluding fuel sales. Including gasoline, comps up 6%.
  • Kohl's Corp., up 3.6%. Home comps were negative, especially in discretionary categories.
  • Duckwall-Alco, up 2.3%. Home comps were up, led by furniture, plastic storage and seasonal appliances.
  • Stein Mart Inc., down 0.3%. Linens among the strongest performing categories for comps.
  • The Bon-Stores Inc., down 0.1%. Home was not mentioned among the top performers.

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