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CHAINS' GAINS MAKE IT A MEMORABLE MAY.

May was supposed to be the month retailers began feeling the effects of a mild slowdown in consumer spending.

Instead it turned out to be another chapter in what has been a remarkable 1998 for the nation's retailers.

According to a tally of 86 stores by the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, same-store sales rose 7.7 percent in May compared to the same month last year. Year-to-date, comparable store sales are up 6.7 percent versus the same period last year, according to BTM Senior Economist Mike Niemira.

LJR Redbook's tally of May comparable-store sales data mirrored that of BTM, with Redbook's May index up 7.7 percent from the same month last year.

May's sales data is particularly impressive given that analysts had been looking for a correction from April's Easter-inflated figures.

Analysts cited the warm weather throughout most of the country, stronger-than-expected sales from Wal-Mart, the robust housing market and buoyant levels of consumer confidence as key factors lifting consumer spending in May.

"The consumer is doing quite well and spending quite freely," Niemira said.

A look at same-store sales numbers for May:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. same-store sales rose 11 percent while total sales for the month rose 19.9 percent to $10.35 billion from $8.63 billion last year.

Same-store sales for the company's Wal-Mart stores rose 11.4 percent in May. Sam's Club same-store sales rose 9.6 percent and total sales jumped 11 percent in May to $1.72 billion from $1.55 billion.

Wal-Mart total company same-store sales for the 17-week year-to-date period rose 9.8 percent. Total sales for the 17 weeks rose 18.3 percent to $41.07 billion from $34.7 billion.

Sam's Club total sales for the 17 weeks rose 9.8 percent to $6.92 billion from $6.31 billion last year. For the 17-week period, same-store sales for the company's Wal-Mart stores rose 10.2 percent, and Sam's Club same-store sales rose 8.5 percent.

Dayton Hudson Corp.'s May same-store sales rose 6.1 percent. The retailer said total sales for the four weeks ended May 30 rose 11.8 percent to $2.11 billion from $1.89 billion a year ago.

Same-store sales in May at the company's Target unit rose 7.4 percent and total sales rose 14.8 percent. Same-store sales in May at its Mervyn's unit fell 2.1 percent and total sales fell 1.1 percent. Same-store sales in May in its department stores unit rose 8.6 percent and total sales rose 8.8 percent.

Dayton Hudson said same-stores sales for the first 17 weeks of 1998 at Target rose 6.3 percent and total sales rose 13.5 percent. In the same period, same-store sales at its Mervyn's unit fell 0.2 percent and total sales fell 4.5 percent.

Kmart Corp.'s May same-store sales rose 6.9 percent. The company said total U.S. sales for the four weeks ended May 27 rose 7.3 percent to $2.60 billion from $2.42 billion. Including results from operations divested in 1997, total May sales rose 4.7 percent to $2.6 billion from $2.48 billion a year earlier.

For the 17 weeks ended May 27, Kmart same-store sales rose 6.3 percent from a year ago. Total U.S. sales rose 6.7 percent to $10.12 billion from $9.48 billion.

Sears, Roebuck & Co.'s same-store sales for the four weeks ended May 30 rose 5.4 percent from a year ago. Domestic store total sales increased 7 percent to $2.32 billion from $2.17 billion.

The company said results were aided by "continued strong performance in hard goods," adding that hard good figures were boosted by double-digit increases in all categories of home appliances and in lawn-and-garden equipment, plus strong results from home electronics.

For the latest four weeks, Sears reported total revenues of $3.11 billion, 6.9 percent higher than $2.91 billion last year. For the 17 weeks ending May 30, Sears same-store domestic sales rose 4.7 percent, with total revenues up 5.3 percent to $12.47 billion from $11.85 billion.

May Department Stores Co.'s same-store sales rose 3.6 percent from a year ago. The retailer said total May sales rose 5.2 percent to $943.3 million from $896.6 million a year ago. The company said same-store sales for the first four months of fiscal 1998 rose 4.3 percent from the like period in '97.

May Department's total sales for the first four months of fiscal 1998 rose 6 percent to $3.68 billion from $3.47 billion a year ago.

J.C. Penney Co.'s May same-store sales at its J.C. Penney division rose 0.4 percent. Total sales for the four weeks ended May 30 were $1.03 billion, up 0.1 percent.

Total May sales for the company, which includes J.C. Penney, Eckerd drug stores and the catalog, rose 3.1 percent to $2.06 billion from $2 billion. For the first four months of the fiscal year, total sales for the company rose 4.6 percent to $8.9 billion from $8.47 billion.

Federated Department Stores Inc.'s same-store sales rose 1.8 percent, while total sales for the four weeks ended May 30 inched up 0.8 percent to $1.16 billion from $1.15 billion a year ago.

For the first 17 weeks of 1998, Federated Department same-store sales rose 2.2 percent. Total sales in the period rose to $4.61 billion from $4.56 billion a year ago.

Dillard's same-store sales for the month increased 4 percent. Total sales increased 7 percent to $498.1 million from $464.3 million. The company said four-month same-store sales rose 6 percent and total sales increased 10 percent to $2.18 billion from $1.98 billion.

Ames Department Stores' same-store sales rose 9.9 percent from a year ago. Total sales for the period climbed 12.7 percent to $171.9 million from $152.5 million. For the 17 weeks ended May 30, same-store sales rose 12.1 percent. Total sales for the period rose 14.7 percent to $671 million from $585.1 million a year ago.

Lowe's said same-store sales increased 10.3 percent, while total sales for the four weeks soared 27.3 percent to $1.15 billion from $903.6 million. Large stores (those larger than 80,000 square feet) saw same-store sales rise 12.3 percent in May.

Elder-Beerman Stores' same-store sales rose 10.3 percent; total sales were up 7.2 percent to $42.2 million. For the year, same-store sales rose 10.2 percent and total sales rose 6.1 percent to $169 million from $159.2 million.

Mercantile Stores Co.'s same-store sales rose 0.8 percent to $212.3 million from $210.7 million. Total sales increased 1.6 percent to $222.4 million from $218.9 million. The company said same-store sales for the latest 17 weeks fell 5.7 percent to $841.2 million from $846.9 million. Seventeen-week total sales increased 6.7 percent to $886.6 million from $879.9 million.

Spiegel Inc. total sales fell 2 percent to $201.5 million from $205.3 million. Spiegel said total sales for the 21 weeks ended May 30 fell 4 percent to $916.1 million from $957.4 million a year ago. The company said May same-store sales for its Eddie Bauer unit fell 5 percent and dropped 8 percent for the 21-week period, due to weak response to certain spring season products.

Gottschalks Inc.'s same-store sales fell 2.5 percent from a year ago. The retailer said total sales for the four weeks ended May 30 rose 2.3 percent to $34 million from $33.2 million. Year-to-date, Gottschalks' same-store sales fell 0.4 percent.Total sales for the period rose 4.6 percent to $129.5 million from $123.8 million.

Proffitt's Inc.'s same-store sales rose 6 percent, while total sales were ahead 8 percent to $253.5 million from $235.8 million. The company said year-ago figures have been restated to reflect the merger with Carson Pirie Scott & Co.

ShopKo Stores' May same-store sales rose 5.9 percent. Excluding results from recently acquired Penn-Daniels stores, same-store sales rose 7.7 percent. Consolidated sales for the four weeks ended May 30 rose 14.3 percent to $220.1 million from $192.5 million.

For the 17 weeks ended May 30, same-store sales rose 5.9 percent and consolidated sales rose 14.8 percent to $865.9 million from $754.4 million.

Heilig-Meyers reported consolidated sales for the month of $207.8 million, 26.1 percent ahead of sales of $164.8 million in the comparable period. Same-store sales for May increased 5.3 percent.

For the three months ended May 31, the company reported consolidated sales of $594.1 million, 21.5 percent ahead of sales of $489.0 million. Same-store sales for the three-month period rose 2.3 percent.

Hills Stores Co.'s same-store sales rose 7.4 percent. The retailer said total sales in the four weeks ended May 30 was also up 7.4 percent to $105.8 million from $98.5 million. Year-to-date, same-store sales are ahead 3.7 percent. Total sales year-to-date have increased 3.7 percent to $468.7 million from $452 million.

Tandy Corp.'s combined May same-store sales rose 2 percent. The retailer said continuing sales for the month increased 5 percent to $381.8 million from $364 million. RadioShack's same-store sales rose 4 percent, with total sales climbing 5 percent to $246.6 million from $234.7 million.

The company said Computer City's monthly same-store sales fell 2 percent, while total sales rose 5 percent to $135.2 million from $129.3 million.

Best Buy Co.'s first quarter same-store sales rose 15.3 percent from a year ago. The nation's largest consumer electronics retailer said total sales for the quarter rose 21 percent to $1.943 billion from $1.607 billion.

Circuit City Stores Inc. said same-store sales for the Circuit City Group rose 12 percent while total sales climbed 25 percent to $699.5 million from $561.4 million.

Circuit City Stores' total sales for May rose 33 percent to $826.6 million from $621.5 million. For the quarter ended May 31, Circuit City Stores had total sales of $2.26 billion, up 22 percent from $1.86 billion.

Tops Appliance City Inc.'s same-store sales rose 12.4 percent to $20.0 million from $17.8 million. The company said total sales and service revenues increased 1.5 percent to $23.0 million from $22.6 million.

No Rain in May For Retailers

(percentage increases)

Company Same-store Total

Company Same-store Total
Wal-Mart 11.0 19.9
Target 7.4 14.8
Kmart 6.9 7.3
Sears 5.4 7.0
J.C. Penney 0.4 0.1
federated 1.8 0.8
Dillard's 4.0 7.0
Ames 9.9 12.7

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Article Details
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Author:Ryan, Ken
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Date:Jun 8, 1998
Words:1847
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