Comps mostly modest in October

Heath E. Combs, Retail Editor 2, November 3, 2011

New York - Nearly all of the publicly traded retailers tracked by HTT reported October comp increases, most of them in the low single-digit range, which sets the tone for a reservedly optimistic outlook for the holiday.

The round up, from best performers to worst:

  • Dillard's up 8.0%. Home was significantly below trend.
  • TJX Cos., up 3.0%. Comps were up 7.0% at its Home Goods nameplate. Home fashions were also a bright spot for TJX's Marmaxx division, which reported a 3.0% total comp. In the company's Winner's and Home Sense stores in Canada, "the home category performed better" than apparel, which was impeded by unseasonably warm weather.
  • Costco, up 6.0%.
  • Ross Stores, up 5.0% - exceeding expectations. Comps had been projected to rise 1% to 2%.
    Kohl's, up 3.9%. Home was the strongest business segment with a high single-digit comp gain. Within home, bath and towels were top performers.
  • Target, up 3.3%. Home furnishings and décor suffered low single-digit comp declines. Domestics and decorative home were among the weakest categories in the department.
  • Duckwall-Alco, up 2.8%. Housewares, commodities, and softlines divisions were growth areas.
  • Stein Mart, up 1.0%. Home help offset problems in other departments, with linens among one of the strongest categories in the store.
  • Macy's Inc., up 2.2%. High double-digit online sales - up 39.2% for macys.com and Bloomingdales.com combined - benefitted Macy's Inc.'s same-store sales for its third quarter and year to date.
  • JCPenney, down 2.6%. Poor home sales at www.jcp.com - especially in furniture and soft window - resulted in a 4.5% comp decline for ecommerce.
  • Bon-Ton Stores, down 10.2%. The company cited a shift in the advertising calendar and consumer restance to higher pricing on some (unspecified) products.
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