AP News

Department stores' August sales top expectations

NEW YORK (AP) — Department stores reported higher sales in August as shoppers snapped up back-to-school items.

The results show Americans continue to worry about high gas prices and the economy, but are still willing to spend money when they have a need. Four department stores reported August sales figures, and all beat expectations.

Macy's said Thursday that revenue at stores open at least a year rose 5.1 percent in August, beating analysts' predictions for a gain of 3.6 percent, according to Thomson Reuters.

CEO Terry Lundgren said improved results in women's clothing and a drive to attract younger shoppers for back-to-school season had been successful. Shares fell 13 cents to $40.34.

Kohl's revenue at stores open at least a year increased 3.4 percent in August, easily beating Wall Street's forecast of a 1.9 percent gain. Shares rose $1 to $53.30.

High-end department store Nordstrom Inc. was the strongest performer, with revenue in stores open at least a year up 21 percent in August, helped by the timing of an anniversary sales event. Analysts had expected an 11.1 percent gain. Shares rose 19 cents to $57.95.

Lower-priced Stage Stores Inc. reported revenue in stores open at least a year rose 6.5 percent, more than double the 3 percent gain analysts expected. Shares rose 37 cents to $21.30.

Revenue at stores open at least a year is an important measure of a retailer's health, because it strips out sales at stores that recently opened or closed.

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