Ross, TJX dressed for BTS success

PLEASANTON, Calif. and FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Retailers of discounted apparel should feel pretty good heading into back-to-school season, as shown by the strong monthly performance of Ross Stores and TJX Cos. With both delivering another month of comps growth, it’s clear value-oriented stores remain popular with consumers.

Sales at Ross increased 12% to $709 million for the month, up from $635 million for same period last year. Comparable-store sales for the month grew 7% on top of a 7% increase last year.

Quarterly sales at Ross increased 12% to $2.3 billion from 2.1 billion for the same period last year. Same-store sales for the quarter ended July 28, 2012 also increased 7% on top of 5% growth last year.

Michael Balmuth, vice chairman and CEO, commented, "We are pleased with our robust sales gains for both July and the second quarter.  These better-than-expected results demonstrate that our ability to provide a wide array of terrific name brand bargains continues to resonate with today's value-focused shoppers, driving broad-based merchandise and geographic trends."

Based on its strong performance in July, Ross Stores raised its second quarter EPS guidance to a range of 80 cents to 81 cents from its previous guidance of 77 cents to 78 cents.

July sales at TJX rose 8% to $1.8 billion from $1.6 billion for the same-period last year. Consolidated comparable-store sales for the month increased 7% over last year. The company also reported a 7% comps increase for its second quarter.

Carol Meyrowitz, CEO of TJX stated, “We are very pleased to report that our strong momentum continued in July. Our consolidated comp store sales increase of 7% in the month significantly exceeded our expectations and was achieved over a 4% increase last year. Customer traffic was up substantially at all divisions and drove most of the comps increase, which we believe speaks to our on-point fashions and brands at great values and wide customer demographic appeal.”

TJX now expects second quarter earnings per share to be approximately 55 cente. For the full year, the company is now expecting earnings per share to be in the range of $2.38 to $2.44.