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December Dud: Same-Store Sales Disappoint — As Expected

NEW YORK — Consumers displayed a penchant for penny-pinching this holiday season, as the nation’s retailers Thursday reported same-store sale...

"For the fourth quarter, we expect the impact of this sales shortfall on earnings to be at least partially offset by continued strength in our gross margin rate performance and substantial growth in contribution from our credit card operations," said Bob Ulrich, chairman and chief executive, in a statement.

TJX Cos. managed a 1 percent comp increase for the month. Ross Stores posted a 6 percent same-store sales increase in December and said the better-than-expected sales over the past two months will add about 3 cents a share to its fourth-quarter earnings per share. The firm is now looking for EPS of about 74 cents for the quarter, up from 62 cents in the year-ago period.

ShopKo Stores comps slid 0.2 percent.
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