Sales at J.C. Penney (JCP) stores open at least one year declined 0.8% for the third quarter ended Oct. 29, a sharp turnaround from the 2.2% increase reported in Q2 and the 6.4% jump in the same period a year ago. The department store retailer said Friday that soft apparel sales were mostly to blame.
Total net sales decreased 1.4% to $2.86 billion, down from $2.9 billion, though the company narrowed its net loss by 41.7% to $67 million, an improvement from last year’s $115 million. Still, J.C. Penney revised its full-year outlook, revealing it now expects comparable store sales to increase 1 percent to 2 percent, versus previous guidance of 3 percent to 4 percent.
Kohl’s (KSS) reported its third straight decline in comparable stores Thursday, posting a 1.7% decrease in the third quarter ended Oct. 29, after a soft September offset a strong back-to-school season. Despite Q3 sales decreasing 2.3% to reach $4.3 billion, down from $4.4 billion a year ago, profits surged 22 percent to $146 million or 83 cents per diluted share, versus $120 million or 63 cents per diluted share. As such, Kohl’s reaffirmed its prior fiscal 2016 diluted earnings per share guidance of $3.12 to $3.32.
Dillard’s (DDS) sales decline continued to weigh heavily on profitability during the third quarter ended Oct. 29. The company said Thursday that total merchandise sales decreased 4 percent to $1.32 billion, compared with $1.38 in the same period a year ago, and comparable store sales were also down 4 percent.
Dillard’s noted that while all categories waned, better performing categories relative to the total trend were juniors’ and children’s apparel, womenswear and men’s clothing and accessories. Women’s accessories, lingerie and shoes were among the weaker performing categories. Net income was $22.8 million, or 67 cents per share, compared to net income of $45.7 million, or $1.19 per share, for the prior year’s third quarter.
Hudson’s Bay Company
A tough apparel retail environment affected Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) throughout the third quarter ended Oct. 29, causing consolidated comparable sales to decrease 3.6% following last year’s increase of 2 percent.
Somewhat surprisingly, the company’s off-price arm suffered the biggest decline in comps, with Saks Off 5th and Gilt posting a drop of 8.4%, worse than the 4.6% decline at Saks Fifth Avenue and the 2.4% fall at Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor. Even HBC Europe, comprising Galeria Kaufhof, Galeria Inno and Sportarena, experienced a 2.2% decrease in comps.
One bright spot: total digital sales, which include Gilt on a pro forma basis, increased 5.4% on a constant currency comparable basis. But in light of a poor Q3, HBC lowered its fiscal 2016 outlook and is now guiding sales of between 14.5 to 14.9 billion Canadian dollars ($10.7 to $11 billion), down from previous guidance of 14.9 to 15.9 billion Canadian dollars ($11 to $11.7 billion). The company will announce full Q3 results on Dec. 5.