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Soft Home Makes its Mark on June Sales

SALESNEW YORK - Soft home was among the highlights for many key retailers in June, when nearly all of the companies on HTT's list reported comp gains.
     Only two - The Bon-Ton Stores and Stein Mart - posted declines, both of them slight: down 0.9% and 1.5%, respectively.
     Yet, home was among Bon-Ton's best performing categories in June.
     "Sales started out slowly in the first half of June, but finished strong with the arrival of more seasonal weather, which led to the best sales performance of warm weather categories we have experienced all season," said Tony Buccina, vice chairman and president - merchandising.
     For the first time in recent memory, 23- state regional discounter Duckwall-Alco lead the 13-retailer pack with the only double-digit comp gain for the month, up 10.6%. The increase also represented its fi fth consecutive month of positive comparable- store sales.
     "Momentum continues to build as our improved merchandise assortments, store execution and value proposition resonate with our core customer," explained Rich
     Wilson, president and ceo, adding that June sales were strongest in the apparel, sporting goods, outdoor furniture, air conditioners and the health-and-beauty categories.

 

WINNERS AND LOSERS
Same-store sales % change

WINNERS 

Duckwall-ALCO  

10.6% 

Costco Wholesale Corp.  

8.0% 

Kohl's Corp.  

7.5% 

Macy's Inc.  

6.7% 

Dillard's Inc.  

6.0% 

Ross Stores  

50% 

TJX Cos.  

5.0% 

LOSERS 

Stein Mart  

(1.5)% 

The Bon-Ton Stores  

(0.9)% 

     Hoping to keep riding the wave, Duckwall-Alco is "well positioned for the upcoming ‘Back to School' selling period with an improved store execution strategy, powerful value statements and the right product mix," Wilson continued.
     Coming in at second place in comp sales increases was Costco Whiolesale Corp., which reported 8.0%.
     Thanks largely to its home business, in particular bedding and bath, Kohl's Corp. generated the third highest June comps at 7.5%. Home was the company's strongest business for the month.
     "After a sluggish May, we are very pleased with our June results," said Kevin Mansell, Kohl's chairman, president and ceo.
     Less than a point behind was Macy's, with a 6.7% comp increase in June, exceeding the department stroe chain's expectations. Chairman, president and ceo Terry Lundgren said this growth "came from across the company - Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores and online sites.
     Total company online sales - comprised of both macys. com and bloomingdales.com - were up a noteworthy 45.0% for the month 39.6% year-to-date for the 22 weeks. Online sales are included in the same-store sales calculation for Macy's.

JUNE SALES FOR KEY RETAILERS
Four weeks ended July 2, 2011 (dollar amounts in millions) a 

 

2011 SALES 

2010 SALES 

TOTAL %CHG 

SAME-STORE % CHG. 

BJ's Wholesale Club c  

$1,180.0  

$1,070.0  

10.3  

3.5 

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc.  

$240.8  

$244.4  

(1.5)  

(0.9) 

Costco Wholesale Corp. d e  

$8,690.0  

$7,330.0  

18.0  

8.0 

Dillard's Inc.  

$531.4  

$506.4  

5.0  

6.0 

Duckwall-ALCO Stores Inc.  

$49.4  

$44.1  

11.8  

10.6 

Fred's Inc.  

$179.0  

$178.9  

0.1  

0.7 

J. C. Penney Company Inc.  

$1,545.0  

$1,550.0  

(0.3)  

2.0 

Kohl's Corp.  

$1,753.0

$1,605.0  

9.2  

7.5 

Macy's Inc.  

$2,392.0  

$2,226.0  

7.5  

6.7 

Ross Stores Inc.  

$793.0  

$725.0  

9.0  

5.0 

Stein Mart Inc.  

$104.5  

$107.2  

(2.5)  

(1.5) 

Target Corp.  

$6,256.0  

$5,918.0  

5.7  

4.5 

The TJX Companies Inc.  

$2,100.0  

$2,000.0  

8.0  

5.0 

22 WEEKS

 

2011 SALES 

2010 SALES 

TOTAL %CHG 

SAME-STORE % CHG. 

BJ's Wholesale Club c  

$4,899.1  

$4,444.5  

10.2  

2.8 

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc.  

$1,071.8  

$1,092.4  

(1.9)  

(1.3) 

Costco Wholesale Corp. f  

$57,590.0  

$51,040.0  

13.0  

4.0 

Dillard's Inc.  

$2,426.9  

$2,365.3  

3.0  

3.0 

Duckwall-ALCO Stores Inc.  

$203.0  

$190.3  

6.7  

4.9 

Fred's Inc.  

$807.0  

$792.1  

2.0  

0.6 

J. C. Penney Company Inc.  

$6,675.0  

$6,707.0  

(0.5)  

2.5 

Kohl's Corp.  

$7,287.0  

$6,978.0  

4.4  

2.6 

Macy's Inc.  

$10,217.0  

$9,586.0  

6.6  

6.1 

Ross Stores Inc.  

$3,529.0  

$3,274.0  

8.0  

4.0 

Stein Mart Inc.  

$506.5  

$506.9  

(0.1)  

0.7 

Target Corp.  

$26,635.0  

$25,698.0  

3.6  

2.7 

The TJX Companies Inc.  

$9,100.0  

$8,600.0  

6.0  

3.0

a.Reporting periods vary from chain to chain.
b. Comp results exclude the impact of gasoline. Including a contribution from sales of gasoline, merchandise comps increased in the month by 7.3%.
c. Comp results exclude the positive impact from sales of gasoline. Including a contribution from gas sales, merchandise comps increased
year to date by 6.7%.
d. Total sales results in April include sales fromthe company's Mexico joint venture; without those sales, the increase year to date by 15.0%.
e. Comp results are for the U.S. division and do not include Costco's Mexico operations or the positive impacts of inflation in gasoline prices and strengthening foreign currencies. Including those impacts, comps for the month were up 12% in the U.S. Division, 18% in the international division, and 14% for the total company.
f. 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 44-week period. Year-to-date comp results here are for the U.S. division and do not include Costco's Mexico oprations or the positive impact of inflation in gasoline and strengthening foreign currencies. Including those impacts, comps were up 7% in the U.S., 16% in the international division, and 9% for the total company. 

     Dillard's was dissatisfied with the performance of its home and furniture businesses in June, both "significantly below trend" for the five-week period.
     Still, the 29-state department store took the fifth-best comp result spot with 6.0%.
     Off-price competitors Ross Stores and TJX Cos. each produced 5.0% comp gains - exceeding expectations for both companies.
     Ross' vice chairman and ceo, Michael Balmuth, credited dresses and accessories as the best-performing cateogries - again.
    At TJX Cos., home made the strongest statement. Marmaxx's comps were up 6%, including a 4% boost in home fashions. Home Goods reported a 3% comp increase.
     "We are particularly pleased with The Marmaxx Group's continued strong performance, with comp sales increasing 6%, significantly higher than we expected," said Carol Meyrowitz, ceo.
     Target's 4.5% June comp was "at the high end of our expected range," said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and ceo of the 1,755-unit, 49-state discounter. Aspects of home helped that along in a small way. Even though the overall category suffered low-single-digit decreases, sheets, table top, and storage-and- organization each enjoyed sales growth above company average.
     Outdoor living home-related businesses, as well as furniture and housewares, which posted "strong results" in June, contributed to JCPenney's 2.0% overall comp gain for the month.
     The Johnson Redbook Retail Index put June comps up 6.9%. Of the 28 companies tracked by the service - which includes apparel specialty stores and drugstores as well as general merchandise retailers - 86% posted positive comps, six of them double-digit gains.

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