Retailers Get Bump From Holiday Season -- Update

By Imani MoiseFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

After a year marked by same-store sales declines and store closures across the sector, retailers are reporting strong sales during the critical holiday shopping period from November to December.

Kohl's Corp. said Monday comparable sales over the holidays jumped 6.9%, compared with a 2.1% decline a year earlier. Shares climbed 6.8% to $58.05 during premarket trading as the department-store chain also raised its annual adjusted profit outlook to $3.98 to $4.08 per share, compared with prior guidance of $3.60 to $3.80 per share.

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Kohl's, helped by stronger store traffic, is the latest retailer to feel the holiday cheer. Its report comes after Macy's Inc. and J.C. Penney Co. last week reported improved sales in the holiday period, benefiting from a healthy economy and strong consumer spending.

Macy's said its same-store sales rose 1% in November and December from a year earlier, while Penney reported a 3.4% increase.

The holiday season could give Kohl's back-to-back quarters with comparable sales increases. The retailer reported a slight increase in the metric in its third quarter after more than a year of declines, citing strong back-to-school sales. Kohl's executives have said that the department store has benefited from sweeping store closures at its mall-based competitors.

Improvements in holiday-season performance also extended beyond department-store operators. Shares in Lululemon Athletica Inc. rose 2.7% to $81.55 after the specialty retailer raised its sales and profit outlook for its fourth quarter, citing stronger performance across its business during the holiday season. Big and tall menswear retailer Destination XL Group Inc. said holiday sales increased 3.5%, compared with a 0.3% decline the prior year.

Write to Imani Moise at imani.moise@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 08, 2018 09:56 ET (14:56 GMT)