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February comps modest

New York - Harsh winter storms cast a bit of a chill on comps in February among six key retailers still posting monthly sales
As retailers embarked on their new fiscal years last month, several major retailers announced they were opting out of monthly sales releases. These include The Bon-Ton Stores, Kohl's Corp., Macy's Inc., and Target Corp.
TJX companies recently said it will stop reporting after it announces its April sales.
Among the significant home textiles retailers still posting monthly sales, only Costco reported a high single-digit comp result in February. The others were either slightly down, flat, or slightly positive due to winter weather impacts over the four-week period, which ended March 2.
Here are their comp results:

  • Alco Stores Inc.: Flat. Comp sales were equal to a year earlier when they were 1.1%. Two major snowstorms forced the company to close a number of stores across the Central United States at various times during the month, but also boosted sales of winter seasonal merchandise.
  • Costco Wholesale Corporation: +6.0% for the U.S. and +6% for the total company, excluding a positive impact from inflation in gasoline prices and a negative impact from changes in foreign exchange.
  • Fred's Inc.: -1.5%. General merchandise comps were positive for the second consecutive month with an assist from expanded offerings in auto/hardware and the discount tobacco shop."
  • Ross Stores: -1.0%. The delay in income tax refunds was the main culprit for the comp decline.
  • Stein Mart Inc.: +0.6%. Linens as well as ladies' casual sportswear and men's sportswear posted the strongest sales for the month.
  • TJX Companies: +1.0%. The home businesses were strong across the board.


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