November Comps Provide Early Holiday Cheer

Department stores log robust November numbers as Target, TJX and two Gap brands deliver upside surprises.

Same-store sales reported early Thursday reflected a stronger-than-expected start to the holiday season for some retailers, with department stores posting the biggest gains in November.


The channel had an average same-store sales increase of 8 percent. The segment was buoyed by particularly strong results from Saks Inc., Macy’s and Kohl’s Corp., which reported gains of 25.7, 13.4 and 10.2 percent, respectively.


Results in the specialty channel varied. The segment overall posted an average comps decline of 0.2 percent for the month. A number of retailers missed their own guidance and analyst expectations while a few beat projections. Aeropostale reported a 6.6 percent increase in same-store sales, higher than its own guidance and Wall Street estimates. Gap Inc.’s Banana Republic and Gap banners both turned in better-than-expected performances, with increases of 2.1 and 1 percent, respectively.


In the mass merchant sector Target Corp. was the standout, with a 10.8 percent increase in same-store sales. The segment overall averaged a 3.8 percent increase in November. Wal-Mart Stores increased 1 percent, within guidance. TJX Cos. reported a 7 percent comp boost, well above Wall St. predictions.


For full coverage, see Friday's issue of WWD.


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