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Target’s Omnichannel Push Paid Off During the Holidays, American Eagle Soared

While Target, Urban Outfitters and American Eagle soared on strong holidays, Genesco balanced strong performers with laggards and Express struggled with sluggish store traffic.

Target

Target exceeded expectations with positive comps across departments.

The retailer achieved a 3.4% increase in comparable store sales, which it attributes to strong traffic and digital sales. The company expects to book a fourth consecutive year with e-commerce sales growth of at least 25 percent.

“We’ve positioned our stores at the center of a continually expanding suite of convenient fulfillment options and made significant investments in our team, which enabled our stores to fulfill 70 percent of all digital orders in the November/December period,” said Brian Cornell, Target’s chairman and CEO, adding the retailer remains focused on expanding fulfillment options like same day delivery through its new Shipt acquisition. “As we look ahead to 2018, we will build on the foundation we established this year by launching additional exclusive brands, enhancing our digital capabilities, opening approximately 30 small-format stores and tripling the size of our remodel program to more than 325 stores.”

The company announced an update full year 2017 guidance pegging comp sales growth at 1 percent. Adjusted EPS for the year is anticipated to be between $4.64 and $4.74, up from a prior guidance of $4.40 to $4.60.

Target noted it expects the tax reform legislation to result in cash flow, which it will use in part toward capital investments.

The company has set guidance for FY2018 adjusted EPS to be $5.15 to $5.45.

Express

A “disappointing” run up to Christmas has prompted Express to lower its fourth quarter and full year 2017 outlook.

“Our performance during December was most challenging in our retail stores, where traffic was worse than expected. E-commerce sales quarter to date continue to trend positively, up double-digits versus last year. From a product perspective, dresses and sweaters were the primary drivers of the sales miss relative to our expectations,” said President and CEO David Kornberg. “While we are course correcting in some areas of the business, we are confident in our long-term initiatives and our ability to drive improved performance.”

The company’s updated guidance for the year—excluding impact from the recent tax legislation—has comp sales down 4 percent and adjusted earnings per share between 33 cents and 35 cents.

Urban Outfitters

The Urban Outfitters group, which includes its eponymous banner plus Anthropologie, BHLDN, Free People and Terrain, reported a 3.6% increase in net sales for the holidays.

Comp retail sales increased by 2 percent on strong double-digit digital sales, which offset negative store sales. Broken out by brand, Free People retail sales were up 5 percent, Anthropologie Group was up 2 percent and Urban Outfitters was up 1 percent.

The company reported wholesale net sales were up by 6.8%.

For the 11 months ended Dec. 31, comp retail sales were down 1 percent while wholesale net sales increased 9.9%.

American Eagle

American Eagle reaffirms its guidance after strong holiday performance.

The retailer announced fourth quarter comp sales to date are up 8 percent.

“We are extremely pleased to report a successful holiday season with record sales and strong momentum across the American Eagle and Aerie brands. Customers responded well to our merchandise offerings, which fueled positive traffic both online and in stores,” CEO Jay Schottenstein, said.

The company’s fourth quarter guidance, which excludes impact from tax reform, is 42 cents to 44 cents per diluted share compared to adjusted EPS of 39 cents last year.

Genesco

Genesco, maker of a host of footwear collections, including Johnston & Murphy, Dockers, G. H. Bass & Co., reported uneven performance throughout its business sectors.

The company achieved a 1 percent increase in comp sales for the quarter through Jan. 4. Same store sales decreased by 2 percent during the same timeframe while its digital business increase 17 percent.

“Our fourth quarter results to date continue to be the tale of two businesses. After a successful back-to-school season, Journeys’ momentum built during the holidays, while Lids’ challenges expanded. We also experienced a promotionally-driven holiday in the U.K. at Schuh,” president and CEO Robert Dennis, said.

Genesco reaffirmed its guidance for the fiscal year, ending Feb. 3, with adjusted earnings per diluted share in the range of $3.05 to $3.35—excluding any impact from the new tax legislation.

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