Federated's Holiday Sales Dip; Sales Up At Penney's, Though Catalog Is Down

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Federated Department Stores Inc., Cincinnati, reported lower comparable-store sales for the holidays.

Federated's December comp-store sales are expected to slide 2.5 percent and such sales for the November/December period likely will fall 4.5 percent. Its December fiscal month runs Dec. 1-Jan. 4. The most recent update was for sales from Dec. 22-28. The November/December period covers Nov. 3-Jan. 4.

J.C. Penney Co., Plano, TX, said December department store sales would rise about 4.5 percent, which is above plan. Catalog sales, however, are expected to be down about 20 percent for the month.

Penney said in its weekly sales update that business at its department stores was better than expected in the final days before Christmas with especially strong sales in fine jewelry, children's, home, men's and women's accessories. Also, Wal-Mart said sales were strong Christmas week -- before and after the holiday -- but it still expects only a modest gain in sales. The world's largest retailer had earlier pulled back from its projection of a sales increase of 3 percent to 5 percent for the holiday season over 2001 in stores open at least a year. On Monday, the company stuck to its revised prediction that same-store sales would gain 2 percent to 3 percent.


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