On the discounter side, Kmart, Target and TJX all finished last month in the black in terms of its same-store sales. Kmart’s 5.3 percent gain in same-store sales was part of a statement from Sears Holdings, its parent company, which reported same-store sales for both Kmart and Sears stores for the first time in some time. TJX posted a robust 14 percent comp-store pickup, while Target’s same-store count edged up 1.8 percent.
Among the department stores, Kohl’s same-store sales rose 4.7 percent, while Macy’s reported a gain in comparable store checkouts for the first time in some months, at 1 percent. J.C. Penney, Sears and Dillard’s finished December on the negative side of the ledger—with J.C. Penney’s same-store sales falling 3.8 percent, Sears reporting a 4.3 percent drop and Dillard’s coming in with a decline of 7 percent.
The warehouse clubs also pushed up their merchandise comparable-store sales (excluding sales of gasoline). BJ’s Wholesale Club’s same-store sales increased 2.7 percent excluding gas, while Costco’s comp-store sales rose 2 percent.
Retail executives who commented on their companies’ results noted that the holidays helped their results. Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Target, noted “stronger-than-anticipated” store traffic in Target stores throughout the month.