NEW YORK–Department stores continued to drag down the retail sector for the month of January, posting an average comp-store sales decline of 6.3 percent.
Home was cited as among the weakest performing businesses at J.C. Penney and Dillard’s, while The Bon-Ton Stores said its semi-annual home sale generated “double digit increases” in both soft and hard home.
Among the nation’s biggest discounters, for the second month in a row Wal-Mart outpaced archrival Target. Although the world’s largest retailer posted a modest 0.9 percent comp-store gain, Target’s comp-store sales declined 1.1 percent in January.
The warehouse clubs were the bright spot of the retail sector in January. BJ’s comp-store sales rose 7.8 percent while Costco posted 5.0 percent gains.