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November Comps Good for Most Retailers

NEW YORK - There were more same-store sales gainers than losers in November, with Kohl's and JCPenney falling into the latter camp.
     November's strongest comps were produced by Costco (up 6.0%), Ross Stores (up 5.0%), Macy's (up 4.8%) and TJX (up 4.0%). And of those, only the last specifically cited home among its best performers.
     A strong Black Friday at Macy's "punctuated our very positive sales performance throughout November at both Macy's and Blooming-dale's," said Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and ceo. Opening at midnight for the first time was a big draw for millennial customers, he added.
     Target's November sales came in at the low end of expectations, up a lackluster 1.8%, but chairman, president and ceo Gregg Steinhafel said "sales were strongest on Black Friday as guests responded to our midnight opening and compelling prices."
     By category, Target's food and consumables business rang in the highest comp gains, up in the mid teens, while home furnishings and décor items declined in the low single digit range.
     JCPenney, which saw comps fall 2.0%, said its decision to "respect Thanksgiving Day for families and open at 4 a.m. on Black Friday ... adversely impacted Black Friday sales." Sales remained soft in-store throughout the weekend, it reported. Internet sales at jcp. com decreased 6.9%, hurt by sales of home products online. Excluding home, jcp.com sales were up 4.5%.

WINNERS AND LOSERS

Same-store sales % change

WINNERS

Costco Wholesale Corp.

6.0%

Ross Stores

5.0%

Macy's Inc.

4.8%

TJX Cos.

4.0%

Dillard's Inc.

3.0%

LOSERS

Kohl's Corp.

(6.2)%

The Bon-Ton Stores

(4.9)%

Stein Mart Inc.

(4.6)%

JCPenney Co.

(2.0)%

November Sales

     TJX's home product comps rose 4% at its Marmaxx U.S. division and 6.0% at HomeGoods.
     Duckwall-Alco reported the smallest comp increase in November, up 0.2%. Unseasonably warm temperatures held back sales of cold weather apparel and seasonal home merchandise such heaters, blankets and comforters, explained Rich Wilson, president and ceo.
     Kohl's saw the biggest comp decline - down 6.2%. In the home department, bath towels and bedding were cited as good performers. "November sales were disappointing," said Kevin Mansell, chairman, president and ceo.
     The Bon-Ton Stores' 4.9% same-store sales decline was the second biggest in November among retailers tracked by HTT. Soft home, however, was among the top three performing categories.
     Tony Buccina, vice chairman, president-merchandising, said Bon-Ton's Black Friday sales resulted in the largest volume day in the company's history, despite sales of cold-weather categories being down double digits.

NOVEMBER SALES FOR KEY RETAILERS

Four weeks ended November 26, 2011 (dollar amounts in millions) a

 

2011 SALES

2010 SALES

TOTAL % CHG.

STORE % CHG.

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc.

$303.6

$319.1

(4.9)

(4.9)

Costco Wholesale Corp. b

$7,510.0

$6,780.0

11.0

6.0

Dillard's Inc.

$479.2

$469.3

2.0

3.0

Duckwall-ALCO Stores Inc.

$42.5

$42.3

0.4

0.2

Fred's Inc.

$152.1

$146.1

4.0

1.5

J. C. Penney Company Inc.

$1,737.0

$1,845.0

(5.9)

(2.0)

Kohl's Corp.

$1,930.0

$2,022.0

(4.5)

(6.2)

Macy's Inc.

$2,465.0

$2,341.0

5.3

4.8

Ross Stores Inc.

$765.0

$696.0

10.0

5.0

Stein Mart Inc.

$102.1

$107.6

(5.1)

(4.6)

Target Corp.

$6,191.0

$6,012.0

3.0

1.8

The TJX Companies Inc.

$2,040.0

$1,960.0

4.0

4.0

39 WEEKS

 

2011 SALES

2010 SALES

TOTAL % CHG.

STORE % CHG.

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc.

$2,205.1

$2,289.6

-3.7

(3.3)

Costco Wholesale Corp. c d

$23,130.0

$20,590.0

12.0

7.0

Dillard's Inc.

$4,726.8

$4,574.9

3.0

4.0

Duckwall-ALCO Stores Inc.

$388.5

$369.5

5.1

3.9

Fred's Inc.

$1,534.0

$1,502.0

2.0

0.8

J. C. Penney Company Inc.

$13,573.0

$13,900.0

(2.4)

(0.8)

Kohl's Corp.

$14,716.0

$14,374.0

2.4

0.6

Macy's Inc.

$20,146.0

$19,075.0

5.6

5.2

Ross Stores Inc.

$6,976.0

$6,417.0

9.0

5.0

Stein Mart Inc.

$934.3

$952.4

(1.9)

(1.2)

Target Corp.

$53,720.0

$51,522.0

4.3

3.2

The TJX Companies Inc.

$18,500.0

$17,600.0

5.0

3.0

     

a. Reporting periods vary among key retailers.
b. Costco's November comp results are for the U.S. division and do not include the positive impacts of inflation in gasoline prices or the "slightly negative" impact from foreign currencies. Including those impacts, comps for the month were up 9.0% in the U.S. division, 9.0% in the international division, and 9.0% for the total company.
c. Because it is on a different fiscal calendar than the other key retailers on this list, Costco's year-to-date sales and comp results reflect the past 13-week period.
d. Costco's year-to-date comp results are for the U.S. division and do not include the positive impacts of inflation in gasoline prices or the "slightly positive" impact from foreign currencies. Including those impacts, comps for the month were up 10.0% in the U.S. division, 10.0% in the international division, and 10.0% for the total company.

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