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April a mixed bag for retailers

New York – The shift of Easter from March last year into April this year was a boon to some retailers and no help to others in April.

Aside from Walmart, most retailers that mentioned home in their April reports included the department, or segments of it, among their underperformers.

The Johnson Redbook Same-Store Sales Index was up 0.5% following a 2.2% drop in March and a 0.2% drop in February. Among retailers in the Index – which includes apparel chains – 47% posted positive comps and 53% posted negative comps.

This month, HTT is reporting results online as a series of quick hits, organized alphabetically by company name as opposed to the long-story format. If you’d like to weigh in on the change -- pro or con -- please post a comment in the Talkback segment on the bottom of the page.

BJ’s Wholesale Club

Sales fell 3.2% to $719.0 million. Comps down 4.9%

Notes: Excluding impact of higher priced gasoline sales last year, merchandise comps rose 5.5%. Shift of Easter had a negative comp impact of 2.0% to 2.5%.

Bon-Ton Stores

Sales down 4.7% to $199.4 million. Comps down 5.1%

Notes: Sales slightly exceeded expectations. Strongest businesses were children’s, hard home, cosmetics and ladies’ moderate sportswear. Weakest categories were furniture and men’s better sportswear. Clearance inventories fell 16%.

Costco

Sales down 6% to $5.18 billion. Comps down 8% total, down 7% for U.S. only.

Notes: Easter calendar shift is estimated to have negatively impacted total and comparable sales by approximately 2% to 3%. Softer results in non-food. Majority of categories reporting negative comps. Gasoline deflation affected comps -5%.

Dillards

Sales down 10% to $429.3 million. Comps down 10%.

Notes: Sales above the average total company trend in the Central region, slightly below trend in the Eastern region and below trend in the Western region. Top performers were juniors’ and children’s apparel. Home and furniture were significantly below trend.

Duckwall-Alco

Sales up 10.6% to $35.9 million. Comps up 6.1%.

Notes: First-quarter fiscal 2010 comps continued to grow and costs continued to be reduced significantly.

Freds

Sales down 1% to $135.8 million. Comps up 5.0%.

Notes: Excluding the closing of 74 underperforming stores and 23 underperforming pharmacies last year, total sales from ongoing stores up 4% .

JCPenney

Sales down 5% to $1.27 billion. Comps down 6.6%.

Notes: Top performing categories were women’s and children’s apparel. Fine jewelry experienced weakest sales.

Kohl’s

Sales down 2.3% to $1.2 billion. Comps down 6.2%.

Notes: Children’s outperformed the company. Company raised first quarter earnings outlook to 43 cent to 44 cents per share from 27 cents to 34 cents per share.

Macy's

Sales down 9.4% to $1.7 billion. Comps down 9.1%.

Notes: Sales at macys.com were up 14.5% and at bloomingdales.com up 14.5%. Online sales were included in the comp calculation for Macy’s Inc.

Ross Stores

Sales up 6% to $534 million. Comps up 6%.

Notes: Top performers were dresses, children’s and shoes. Company raised first quarter earnings outlook to 71 cents to 72 cents per share, from 68 cents to 70 cents.

Stein Mart

Sales down 14.6% to $100.2 million. Comps down 12.3%.

Notes: Best performing categories were dresses and ladies' casual sportswear. Worst performers were ladies' career sportswear, gifts and linens. Stein Mart continues holding inventories at a significantly reduced level.

Target

Sales up 4.5% to $4.4 billion. Comps up 0.3%.

Notes: Retail sales above target; credit card segment in line with guidance. Company expects first-quarter earnings per share above the current median First Call estimate of 52 cents.

TJX

Sales up 1% to $1.41 billion. Comps up 3%.

Notes: Traffic up significantly at most nameplates. Company continues to plan home fashions inventories down dramatically in favor of higher-turn apparel buys. Company remains cautious in near-term outlook, but raised first-quarter earnings per share outlook to 47 cents to 49 cents.

Wal-Mart Stores

Total sales up 2.4% to $29.9 billion. Comps up 5.0% without fuel, up 4.0% with fuel.

Walmart U.S. sales up 7.7% to $19.2 billion. Comps up 5.9% without fuel, up 5.9% with fuel.

Sam’s Club sales down 4.3% to $3.5 billion. Comps up 0.3% without fuel, down 5.1% with fuel.

International sales down 7.0% to $7.1 billion.

Notes: At Walmart U.S., top performers were grocery, health and wellness, hardlines, entertainment and home. Comp store traffic has increased for seven consecutive reporting periods, and was higher in April than in any of the previous six periods.

At Sam’s Club, top categories included produce, bread and pastry, floral, pet supplies and office electronics. Discretionary categories, such as jewelry, patio and furniture remain soft.

 

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