* Same-store sales rise 1.9 percent in 9 weeks to Dec. 29
* Sales slip 4.4 percent at Lord & Taylor unit
TORONTO Jan 3 Canadian department store
operator Hudson's Bay Co reported a sharp deceleration
in same-store sales growth on Thursday and said sales at
existing Lord & Taylor stores fell in the last nine weeks of
HBC, which operates Hudson's Bay in Canada and Lord & Taylor
in the United States, warned in December that Superstorm Sandy
would weigh on sales, as it forced 80 percent of Lord & Taylor
stores to close or cut their hours.
For the nine weeks ended Dec. 29, consolidated same-store
sales rose 1.9 percent, compared with 7.5 percent growth a year
earlier. Excluding the impact of the storm, same-store sales
would have increased 3.7 percent, the company said.
Same-store sales fell 4.4 percent at Lord & Taylor, and rose
6.7 percent at Hudson's Bay. The figures include sales at
locations open at least 13 months as well as online and
clearance store sales.
The report came as U.S. retailers posted December sales
figures. Some major players had a tough month, as consumers were
cautious in their holiday spending.
Macy's Inc said same-store sales rose 4.1 percent in
December, just above the 4.0 percent analysts expected, but the
department store chain lowered its fourth-quarter sales and
Shares of HBC have languished below their offer price in the
firm's November initial public offering, partly on fears that
its Canadian business could stumble once Target Corp
opens its first stores north of the border in the spring.
HBC, which has seen very thin volume since its first few
trading days, was unchanged at C$16.50 in early trading on the
Toronto Stock Exchange.