Four Department Stores Post Strong Holiday Comps

Four leading department stores posted positive comps for holiday 2017, a sign that the longstanding retail format—often seen as on the ropes—may have life in it yet.

Kohl’s, Target, Macy’s, and J.C. Penney all posted rising comps in December—with both J.C. Penney and Macy’s singling out fine jewelry as a strong seller.

Despite JCK’s reservations about the store on a recent shopping trip, Kohl’s posted the healthiest comp gain, with same-store sales rising 6.9 percent over the holiday.

In a statement, chairman and CEO Kevin Mansell said that “all lines of business and regions” posted gains.

The statement also called sales stronger than expected.

Meanwhile, comps at J.C. Penney grew 3.4 percent in November and December, with the company singling out fine jewelry, as well as home and beauty, as strong performers. Jewelry also did well on the company’s website, it said.

Comps at Target increased 3.4 percent over the holiday, which the company credited to strong store traffic and digital sales.

Macy’s posted only a 1 percent comp gain this season, but that was better than expected. The company pointed to fine jewelry as a strong seller, as well as to success with active apparel, shoes, dresses, coats, men’s tailored clothing, children’s, and home.

Yet in spite of this good news, Macy’s announced it will close 19 more stores this year. Since 2015, it’s closed more than 120 stores.

JCK News Director