follow us

Discounters deliver on January same-store sales

NEW YORK — With winter storms shutting stores in some regions of the country, and with post-holiday clearance markdowns chipping away at the top line, January same-store sales were a mixed bag for key retailers. Off-pricers and discounters rode the crest of the wave, while full-price department stores generally languished.

Staking out a claim at the top of the heap, a position it's locked up in recent months following a dramatic turnaround, was Southeastern off-pricer Stein Mart, where same-store sales rocketed up 13.1 percent. For all of 2004, Stein Mart's comps set a pace of 9.1 percent growth.

With cash-strapped consumers still looking for bargains and stocking up on consumables, same-store sales at Target rose an above-plan 9.4 percent.

But price wasn't always on consumers' minds, and rival Wal-Mart fared substantially less well, posting a modest gain of 2.5 percent, falling slightly behind a Wall Street forecast of 2.6 percent growth. Acting as a drag at the world’s largest retailer was the Sam's Club division, cooling off after recent strong growth, and recording a small 0.8 percent decline in same-store sales during January. Comps in the core Wal-Mart Stores improved 3.2 percent.

Full-price department stores were broadly soft with the exception of The Bon Ton Stores, where same-store sales accelerated 8.2 percent, easily outpacing all of its full-price peers, like May Department Stores, where January comps skidded 7.2 percent. Federated comps, hurt by severe winter weather, slipped .4 percent. Sunbelt-based Dillard's drove same-store sales up 3 percent.

Still picking up steam in a modest rally was Sears, where comps improved 0.8 percent, after trending down throughout most of 2004.

On the other hand, the rally at Kohl's was short-lived, and January comps declined 1.6 percent. But reflecting strength in the prior two months, same-store sales for the entire fourth quarter edged up 1.3 percent.

Featured Video

  • Online Moves From Afterthought To Main Thought For Textiles Suppliers

    Camera Icon More Videos

Other Home Furnishings Sites

Casual Living
Gifts and Decorative Accessories
Home Accents Today
Kids Today
Furniture Today