Two national retailers with headquarters in Wisconsin -- Kohl's Corp. and The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. -- on Thursday reported October sales that beat analyst expectations.
Kohl's, of Menomonee Falls, said that for the four-week period ended Oct. 27, comparable store sales -- sales at stores open at least a year -- increased 3.3% over the same period last year. The research firm Retail Metrics Inc. had projected a 0.8% rise in same-store sales for Kohl's.
Year to date, total sales have increased 1.2% and comparable store sales are down 0.5%, Kohl's said.
For the month, the Midwest was the strongest region and children's was the strongest line of business, Kohl's said.
The company also said that starting in its 2013 fiscal year, it would "align with the wishes of its investors and the practice of the majority of its retail peers" and no longer report monthly sales. The company will report its sales results quarterly in conjunction with its quarterly earnings release.
Kohl's operates 1,146 stores in 49 states.
The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., which has dual headquarters in Milwaukee and York, Pa., said comparable store sales in the four weeks ended Oct. 27 increased 3.7%. Retail Metrics had estimated a 2% gain for the month for Bon-Ton.
Bon-Ton, which is the parent company of the Boston Store, Younkers and other department stores, said year-to-date total sales are up 0.2%, and comparable store sales have increased 0.3%.
Brendan Hoffman, president and chief executive of Bon-Ton, said ladies' and men's outerwear, dresses and shoes posted double-digit gains, while men's sportswear and furnishings, cosmetics, accessories and ladies' and special sizes sportswear outperformed the company average. Home, furniture and intimate apparel were the weakest performing categories.
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