Kohl’s, TJX, J.C. Penney and Macy’s beat expectations

Chain Store Age

New York City ( October 8, 2009 )

Many department store retailers turned in better-than-expected performances in September, led by Kohl’s Corp. and TJX Cos.

Kohl’s said Thursday that its same-store sales climbed 5.5% in September, surpassing analysts’ estimates, and raised its earnings outlook for the third quarter. Total sales for the five weeks ended Oct. 3 rose 9.6%, helped by robust sales of accessories.

TJX Cos. also turned in a strong performance, reporting a 7% increase in its September same-store sales, beating analyst estimates and leading the discount retailer to raise its guidance for the third and fourth quarters.

“We saw strong trends continue in September, and customer traffic counts accelerated beyond their already-high levels,” said CEO Carol Meyrowitz in a statement. Year-to-date, same-store sales rose 4%.

At J.C. Penney Co., same-store sales slipped 1.4%, a smaller drop than analysts predicted. The retailer raised its guidance based on the better-than-expected results.

Macy’s also beat expectations, with a 2.3% decline, better than the predicted 4.6% decrease.

Dillard’s said its same-store sales dropped 6%.

In the luxury sector, Saks said its September same-store sales fell 11.6% in September on softness in all merchandise categories, as even more-affluent shoppers continue to scale back on their luxury-fashion purchases. Analysts had expected a smaller sales drop-off of 11.1%.

Saks said results for its online division, Saks Direct, and Saks Off 5th, its outlet brand that offers discount designer clothing and accessories, were relatively strong during the month.

Nordstrom said its same-store sales slipped 2.4% in the September period, beating estimates for a 6% fall.

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