February same-store sales up 4.4%, despite bad weather

by Harry Sheff

NEW YORK—Despite some bad weather, overall same-store sales for major retailers were up about 4.4 percent, according to Kantar Retail.

“The results also held up despite slightly tougher year-ago comparisons, but those comparisons are likely to take a toll in the coming months—even factoring out the Easter shift from March to late April this year,” said Kantar’s Frank Badillo, noting that Wal-Mart, Aeropostale, Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle have all stopped reporting their monthly figures.

Some retailers, particularly in the luxury sector, did very well. Neiman Marcus and Saks Inc. were both up double digits in same-store sales, with Nordstrom close behind in the high single digits. And JCPenney, Stage Stores, Ross Stores and Stein Mart all enjoyed high single digit same-store sales gains for the month.

But others, like Bon-Ton (down a half percent) and Dillard’s (down 1 percent), were hit hard by the inclement weather.

Better Stores
Neiman Marcus: Same-store sales were up 12.6 percent in Neiman Marcus stores and Bergdorf Goodman. Menswear was one of the best performers during the month. Total sales were up 12.9 percent to $282 million.

Nordstrom: Same-store sales were up 7.3 percent, surprising analysts, who expected a 4.2 percent rise. Total sales were up 12.3 percent to $606 million.

Saks Inc.: Same-store sales rose an impressive 15 percent, much higher than Wall Street’s predictions of a 4.9 percent gain. Total sales were up 14.2 percent to $196.2 million. Menswear was listed as one of the strongest categories for the month.

Department Stores:
Bon-Ton: Same-store sales were down 0.5 percent with total sales down 1.1 percent to $197.7 million. The retailer blamed bad weather for the weak performance but added that men’s sportswear was one of the strong categories during the month.

Dillard’s Inc.: Same-store sales were down 1 percent. Total sales were down 1 percent to $492 million. The retailer said that menswear was “significantly below trend” in February.

Macy’s Inc.: Same-store sales up 5.8 percent. Total sales were up 5.9 percent to $1.765 billion. CEO Terry Lundgren admitted that both Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s showed “stronger-than-expected February performance.”

Mid-Tier and Mass:
Costco: Same-store sales rose 4 percent in U.S. stores, excluding gasoline. Total sales up 14 percent to $6.38 billion.

Kohl’s: Same-store sales up 5 percent. Total sales were up 7.1 percent to $1.6 billion. “Men’s, Women’s and Children’s outperformed the company with high-single digit comparable sales increases,” said CEO Kevin Mansell.

J.C. Penney: Same-store sales rose 6.4 percent. Total sales up 2.7 percent to $1.2 billion.

Stage Stores: Same-store sales fell 7.2 percent, hit by bad winter weather. Analysts had expected a 2.5 percent gain. Total sales down 5.1 percent to $94 million.

Target: Same-store sales rose 1.8 percent. Total sales rose 2.4 percent to $4.75 billion.

Wal-Mart: Wal-Mart is no longer reporting monthly sales results.

Off Price:
TJX Companies: Same-store sales up 3 percent. Total sales were up 3 percent to $1.5 billion.

Stein Mart: Same-store sales were up 8.2 percent. Total sales up 7.9 percent to $80.4 million. Men’s sportswear, along with ladies’ career sportswear and the home category, were the strongest performers for February.

Ross Stores: Same-store sales were up 7 percent. Total sales were up slightly, to $595 million.

Specialty and Catalog:

Gap Inc.: Same-store sales were down 3 percent. By division, same-store sales were down 4 percent at Banana Republic, down 4 percent Old Navy and down 1 percent at Gap stores. Total sales were down 2 percent to $821 million.

Jos. A. Bank: No longer reporting monthly figures.

Men’s Wearhouse: No longer reporting.

Teen Retailers:
Three teen retailers, Abercrombie & Fitch, Aéropostale and American Eagle Outfitters, have ceased reporting monthly sales figures as of this month.

The Buckle: Same-store sales were 2.1 percent. Total sales were up 6.4 percent to $73.9 million.

Hot Topic: Same-store sales dropped 1.4 percent. Total sales were down 1.5 percent to $53.4 million.

Pacific Sunwear: Stopped reporting monthly sales results.

Zumiez: Same-store sales rose 12.8 percent. Total sales rose 18.3 percent to $32.7 million.