Retail Sales Rise at Major Chains

Same-store sales up 6.4%

Same-store sales up 6.4%

NEW YORK–The U.S. retail fiscal year began on the upswing for most of the chains tracked by HFN.

All of the chains except Dillard’s reported increases in February. The leaders were in the department-store category. J.C. Penney posted a same-store sales increase of 6.4 percent, riding on the crest of a strong Valentine’s Day performance.

Macy’s comparable-store number rose 5.8 percent, a gain that included an increase in its online sales of 30.9 percent in February. Kohl’s said its same-store sales rose 5 percent, thanks mostly to strong numbers from its apparel departments. After posting strong same-store sales gains through the holidays and in January, Dillard’s comp-store sales slipped by one percent last month.

In the discount channels, the TJX retail chains reported a consolidated gain of three percent in same-store sales, while Target’s same-store number edged up 1.8 percent. Costco put up an increase of four percent in same-club sales, factoring out gasoline sales, while BJ’s Wholesale Club’s comparable-club sales rose 2.4 percent, again taking gas out of the equation.

In their statements on their February performance, both Macy’s and Target noted that a calendar shift will place the pre-Easter period in April. Given this, the expectations for March are for low single-digit increases or even declines for the chains.