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June delivers a mixed bag of comps

New York - Over the five-week period that ended June 30, the 10 major retailers tracked monthly by HTT were evenly split - five of them that saw comp gains, and five suffered declines - some of them steep.

Maintaining their winning streak were the off-price chains - TJX Cos. and Ross Stores, who tied for first place with 7.0% comp gains.

Ross Stores' Michael Balmuth, vice chairman and ceo, said sales were better than expected. "Our ongoing ability to deliver terrific name brand bargains to today's value-focused shoppers drove broad-based merchandise and geographic sales gains during the month," he added.

Ross is now forecasting second quarter earnings per share of 77 to 78 cents, up from its previous projection of 72 to 75 cents.

TJX ceo Carol Meyrowitz, said all business in the U.S., Canada and Europe performed well in June. "Customer traffic during the month increased substantially at every division, which speaks to the tremendous appeal of our values, brands and fashions for consumers," she said.

TJX also raised its second quarter EPS guidance to 52 to 53 cents - which would represent double-digit growth on top of double-digit growth in last year's second quarter. For the full ifscal year, TJX boosted its EPS guidance to $2.31 to $2.39.

"We are very well positioned to buy into the opportunities we are seeing in the marketplace and offer consumers exciting brands and fashions at great values," said Meyrowitz.

Home was not singled out by any of the 10 retailers as a winner or a loser during the month. Full comp results included:

Ross Stores: 7.0%

  • TJX Cos.: 7.0%
  • Costco Wholesale Club: 3.0%
  • Target Corp.: 2.1%, at the low end of expectations.
  • Macy's Inc.: 1.2%, below expectations.
  • Duckwall-Alco: -5.9%
  • Kohl's Corp.: -4.9%, below expectations.
  • Fred's Inc.: -4.0%
  • The Bon-Ton Stores: -0.8%
  • Stein Mart Inc.: -0.5%

For the broad retail industry, June comps rose 0.2% after a 1.8% gain in May, according to the Johnson Redbook Same-Store Sales Index. Of the 22 retailers tracked by Redbook, 11 reported positive gains and 10 posted negative comps.


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