Earnings season is off to a difficult start with department stores first to report. One recurring theme thus far is retailers either protected their margin and took the negative sales hit OR bought the quarter. Will update results as they funnel in.
- Dillards posted a negative comp of 1.0% with margin worse and inventories up. Difficult, difficult quarter.
- JC Penney posted a positive comp of 1.7%, the first positive in over a year. With that said, 139 stores closed and the margin was considerably worse. JCP bought this quarter.
- Kohls posted a positive comp of 0.1%. Gross margin dipped below 37% for the first time this year and likely helped eke out that positive comp. Definitely the best performance of the department stores thus far.
- Difficulty continues for Macys with store comps -4.0% for owned and -3.6% in owned and licensed. Margin was healthy year over year as they further tightened inventory.
- Nordstrom posted -1.9% for full line and +0.8% for off-price. Not a good result for either group although Nordstrom posted relatively flat margins. Nordstrom.com posted its' lowest growth rate ever of 7% whilst Nordstromrack.com/Hautelook posted a 33% growth rate.
- Sears declines in sales comps are accelerating, posting a -15.3%. Not much to say here.