Retailers report stronger sales in September

Most major U.S. retailers posted gains in comparable store sales in September, as shoppers stocked up on back-to-school supplies and snagged discounts and affordable luxuries.
The International Council of Shopping Centers said today that overall revenue rose 5.5 percent in September.
Retailers reporting comparable sales in stores open at least a year included: Costco Inc., up 12.0 percent; Limited Brands Inc., up 11.0 percent; Nordstrom Inc., up 10.7 percent; Sak’s Inc., up 9.3 percent; Target Corp., up 5.3 percent; Macy’s Inc., up 4.9 percent;  Kohl’s, up 4.1 percent; Walgreen Company, up 3.1 percent; J.C. Penny Inc., down 0.6 percent; Bon-Ton Stores Inc., down 3.6 percent; The Gap Inc., down 4.0 percent.
Menomonee Falls-based Kohl’s Corp., which suffered a sales decline in August, bounced back with a stronger September.
Kevin Mansell, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Kohl’s, said, "We are pleased to report significant improvement in our September sales results. As expected, the Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony launches — the largest launches in our history — and the opening of 31 new stores, generated excitement which resulted in improved customer traffic."
Gregg Steinhafel, a Milwaukee native who is chairman, president and chief executive of Target, said, “We experienced strong sales results throughout the month and across a broad array of merchandise categories.”
Tony Buccina, vice chairman and president of Merchandising for Bon-Ton Stores, which has headquarters in Milwaukee and York, Pa., said, "Although our comparable stores sales performance did not meet our expectations, our strategic initiatives of footwear expansions, increased penetration of updated merchandise, and pilot store renovations with the ‘re-discover’ branding in those markets gained traction. Best performing businesses were cosmetics, shoes, hard home and men’s furnishings. Additionally, our move to more updated moderate merchandise in our missy, women’s and petite sportswear was well received by our customers. Poor performing businesses were furniture, traditional ladies’ sportswear and intimate apparel."

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