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Kohl's, JCPenney report weak Dec. results


MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. and PLANO, Texas Kohl’s and JCPenney today reported sales and comps decreases for the month of December, reflecting the conservative spending trend amongst consumers.

Kohl’s reported that sales for the five-week period ended Jan. 5 decreased 3.4% to 2.7 billion from $2.8 billion last year. The company said that comparable-store sales decreased 11.4%.

Larry Montgomery, Kohl’s chairman and ceo, commented, “Customers’ shopping patterns were driven by a search for value and they responded well to promotions closer to Christmas and post-holiday. Our sales results reflected these deeper discounts, affecting our gross margin. In addition, we have been aggressive in our clearance strategy to ensure we have the appropriate inventory content and level entering fiscal 2008. As a result, we now expect our fourth quarter earnings to be $1.30 to $1.34 per diluted share.”

JCPenney reported a total department store sales decrease of 4.5% for the month. Comparable-department-store sales fell by 7.5%.  According to the company, its best performing merchandise categories in December were seasonal gift items across all divisions, housewares in the home division, family shoes and women’s apparel, with the weakest being fine jewelry and big-ticket home categories. Geographically, the best performances were in the Northwest and Southwest regions of the country, with softer results in the Northeast and Central regions.

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