Strong November Sales Launch Holiday Season for U.S. Chains

       

       

NEW YORK–Major U.S. retail chains enjoyed a prosperous beginning to the holiday season, reporting same-store sales increases for November.

The surprising leaders among the chains tracked by HFN were J.C. Penney with a 9.2 percent increase in same-store sales, and Dillard’s with an 8 percent pickup. Both chains had tended to be among the weaker performers in monthly sales results among this group of retailers. A J.C. Penney statement said the department store marked the biggest Black Friday sales event in its history last week, and that traffic and conversion on its e-commerce site, jcp.com, were well ahead of last year throughout the Thanksgiving weekend and into Cyber Monday.

Rounding out the department stores, both Macy’s and Kohl’s registered comparable-store sales increases of 6.1 percent. Terry Lundgren, Macy’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said November was “a great month” for both Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, with sales exceeding expectations at both the stores and on its websites.

On the discount side, Target posted a 5.5 percent increase in same-store sales—better than the company expected and driven by “very strong guest traffic throughout the month,” said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer. The TJX Cos.’ same-store gain was 3 percent, also driven by the business during the Thanksgiving week and through that weekend.

The results for the warehouse clubs were also positive. Costco’s same-store sales gain for its U.S. stores was 6 percent not including gasoline sales, while BJ’s Wholesale Club reported a gain of 3.8 percent without gas sales. Factoring in fuel, Costco’s increase was 7 percent and BJ’s was 5 percent.