Most discounters report sales increases, but miss forecasts

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New York Target Corp. said Thursday that sales were "relatively soft" in June as same-store sales rose 1.7%, short of analyst expectations. The retailer's total revenue for the five weeks ended July 4 rose 4% to $5.92 billion.

Clothing, food, health care and beauty products were strong sellers. But electronics, video games, music and movies were weaker. CEO Gregg Steinhafel said that while sales were "relatively soft" for the second month in the quarter, its mix of products, cost cuts and improvements in its credit-card segment helped profitability in the month.

TJX Cos. on Thursday said that its June same-store rose 3%. Analysts, on average, had expected same-store sales to rise 4.2%. The company raised its outlook for the second quarter and its estimate for the full year.

Total sales for the five weeks ended July 4 rose 7% to $2 billion.

Carol Meyrowitz, president and CEO of The TJX Companies Inc., stated, “Consolidated comparable-store sales were solidly within our estimated range and The Marmaxx Group reported a comp sales increase at the high end of our forecast. It is important to note that these comp sales increases were achieved on top of our strong increases last year when many other retailers had sharp comp sales declines. Further, business continued to be driven by increases in customer traffic which led to the sustained strength that our June sales represent.”

Costco Wholesale Corp. saw June same-store sales rise 4%, marginally missing market expectations. The fact that Memorial Day fell in the June reporting period, unlike the previous year, hurt sales by about 2% , the company said. This year's five-week period included 33 trading days in the United States versus 34 last year.

For the five weeks ended July 4, Costco’s net sales rose 7%  to $7.33 billion from the previous year.

In other same-store sales results for June:

• Ross Stores’ sales climbed 5%, just short of analysts expectations, as customers bought more items for their homes along with dresses and shoes. Overall revenue from the month rose 9% to $725 million from $666 million. The discounter boosted its second-quarter guidance. •At  BJ's Wholesale Club Inc., sales increased 3.8%  in the five-week period ending July 3, not as much as analysts had expected. Excluding revenue from gasoline sales, the measure climbed 3.2%, missing the 4.4%  jump on that basis that analysts had expected. • Fred's Inc. said its sales rose 1.2%, short of analysts expectations.