Sales Fall for Federated and Dillard's

Federated Department Stores Inc., parent of the Macy's and Bloomingdale's chains, on Thursday reported sales at its stores open at least a year fell 12.9 percent in September, hurt by the attacks on the United States. 

The company -- which also forecast October same-store sales to be between 7 to 10 percent below those of a year-ago -- said total sales for the five weeks ended Oct. 6 dropped 14.5 percent to $1.40 billion from $1.63 billion a year earlier. 

Last month, Federated said it will likely lower its earnings guidance for the rest of fiscal 2001 because the retailer's sales fell sharply following the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. 

At that time, analysts had been looking for Federated to earn $3.54 a share for the full fiscal year, according to research firm Thomson Financial/First Call. Analysts have since lowered their estimates to $3.09. 

The company said it is still assessing sales impact on earnings for the third and fourth quarters. 

Elsewhere, department store retailer Dillard's Inc. said sales at its stores open at least one year fell 8 percent in September hurt by dwindling consumer confidence after the Sept. 11 attacks. 

The Little Rock, Arkansas-based retailer said total sales for the five weeks ended Oct. 6 fell 8 percent to $727.8 million from $788.8 million a year ago. 

Shares of Dillard's closed at $14.44 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The stock's 52-week low is $9.44, while its year-high is $22.50. 

Youth-oriented apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch C0. said sales fell 18 percent at stores open for at least a year in the five weeks ended Oct. 6. 

The company said total sales in the period were $113.1 million, down from $121.6 million in the year-ago period.