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School Days, School Days, Good Old Back-to-School Days

Penney's, Sears, Gap and others report solid August sales gains



J. C. Penney Co. Inc. (Plano, Texas) reported a same-store sales increase of 6.5 percent for the four weeks ended Aug. 23, 2003. The gain was higher than analysts' forecasts, and was believed to have been the result of both a positive response to back-to-school merchandise and the result of tax rebate checks. Penney was among retailers cashing the $400 checks.

Michael Cape, Penney's vp, director of visual merchandising and store design, will be addressing a StoreXpo audience in December in New York, explaining the venerable retailer's turnaround efforts under chairman and ceo Allen Questrom

Other retailers enjoyed similarly positive August results.

Gap Inc. (San Francisco) reported a net sales gain of 5 percent for the four-week period ended August 30, 2003. Overall same-store sales increased 4 percent. Gap's U.S. store sales jumped 1 percent; Banana Republic was up 8 percent; and Old Navy jumped 6 percent.

Sears Roebuck and Co. (Hoffman Estates, Ill.) announced a same-store revenue increase of 3.9 percent for August. “Sales for the month of August were better than we anticipated due primarily to improving sales in our home appliance business,” said chairman and ceo Alan Lacy. “In addition, wet weather extended the growing season in most regions, which fueled continued strong increases in Sears' lawn and garden business.”

Neiman Marcus (Dallas) reported that same-store sales revenues in its specialty retail stores segment (which includes Neiman Marcus stores and Bergdorf Goodman) increased 5.4 percent. The luxury retailer said revenue growth trends were the strongest in Texas and the Western region. Top merchandise categories were contemporary sportswear and dresses, designer handbags, beauty, designer jewelry and men's.


Nordstrom Inc. (Seattle) showed an 11.3 percent increase for August. Same-store sales were up 3.2 percent. The specialty department store retailer said sales in full-line stores increased in the northwest, southwest and central states, and in shoes, cosmetics, accessories, men's wear, women's active wear, junior women's, intimate apparel and women's designer apparel.

And Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (Bentonville, Ark) reported a 13.7 percent increase in net sales, its biggest monthly jump in 14 months.



MasterClass: ‘Re-Sparkling’ Retail: Using Store Design to Build Trust, Faith and Brand Loyalty

HOW CAN WE EMPOWER and inspire senior leaders to see design as an investment for future retail growth? This session, led by retail design expert Ian Johnston from Quinine Design, explores how physical stores remain unmatched in the ability to build trust, faith, and loyalty with your customers, ultimately driving shareholder value.

Presented by:
Ian Johnston
Founder and Creative Director, Quinine Design

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