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Dept. stores report April sales growth

NEW YORK —  Consumers took advantage of Easter promotions and helped drive up sales at leading U.S. department stores.

Macy's Inc. reported total sales of $1.924 billion for the four weeks ended April 30, an increase of 10.9% compared with total sales of $1.735 billion in the four weeks ended May 1. The company’s same-store sales were up 10.8%, beating Macy’s guidance for comps to be up between 8% and 9%.

"April was another strong month for our company. Macy's and Bloomingdale's both performed well in stores and online. As a result, we also exceeded our own aggressive expectations for the combined March-April period and for the first quarter," said Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and CEO of Macy's Inc.

Kohl’s reported that its sales for the month of April were up 12.1% to $1.3 billion from $1.1 billion last year. The company’s same-store sales increased 10.2%.

Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, president and CEO, commented, “From a line of business perspective, accessories, home and children’s outperformed the company average for the month. The Southeast and West regions reported the strongest comparable sales for the month.”

Kohl’s said it expects its first quarter earnings to be toward the high end of its previous guidance of 68 cents to 73 cents per diluted share.

JCPenney said its net sales were up 3.4% to $1.3 billion for the month of April from $1.2 billion last year. The company’s same-store sales were up 6.4%. 

According to the company, JCPenney’s strongest sales were in women’s and children’s apparel, and the Southeast was the top performing region.

Geographically, the southeast was the top performing region of the country.  Throughout the month, sales and traffic in several regions were impacted by unseasonable and adverse weather trends.  

JCPenney said it now expects first-quarter earnings to be approximately 24 cents per share. The company had previously expected earnings to be in the range of 18 cents to 23 cents per share.