Department and discount stores reported similar August sales results to those of apparel retailers, with most of the largest companies showing declines.
The three in the department and discount category that saw August sales increases were, Wal-Mart (WMT), Target (TGT) and Kohl’s (KSS).
Wal-Mart reported a 7-percent increase in net sales for the four weeks of August and an 8.7-percent increase at its Sam’s Club division. Target reported a 3.1-percent increase in net retail sales for the month. Kohl’s showed a 2.6-percent sales increase for the month.
Top department and discount stores turning in decreased August sales included:
The Bon-Ton Stores (BONT) — 9.3-percent decrease
Dillard’s (DDS) — 7-percent downturn
Saks (SKS) — 6.1-percent downslide
J. C. Penney (JCP) — Down 3.2 percent
A few notes on August sales:
Wal-Mart noted that shoppers “responded well” to school and college seasonal offerings, which drove sales in denim, licensed apparel, school supplies and home furnishings.
Kohl’s President Kevin Mansell said that some traditional back-to-school items such as footwear and children’s performed well. Juniors and young men’s were more challenging.
Bon-Ton President Tony Buccina said that August results were negatively impacted by slow customer traffic and a reduced level of clearance merchandise.
Dillard’s reported that August sales in the juniors’ and children’s apparel category were significantly below trend.
The strongest August categories at Saks Fifth Avenue were fashion jewelry, fragrances, men’s sportswear and men’s shoes. The weakest categories were women’s apparel, women’s shoes and intimate apparel.
At J. C. Penney, the strongest performers were women’s apparel and family shoes. The weakest were jewelry and home.