FT:  Retail Woes Deepen as Department Stores Undergo ‘Reinvention’

The retail outlook turned just a little bit gloomier this week as three chains — Macy’s, Kohl’s and Dillard’s — reported another quarter of worse-than-expected sales.

The dismal results sparked a selloff in shares of department stores and stirred fears that consumers aren’t spending enough to drive strong economic growth.

Macy’s dismal quarterly performance sent its shares tumbling 17 percent, taking a toll on the consumer discretionary sector, which fell 0.59 percent.

Kohl’s stock dropped 7.86 percent after it reported a drop in quarterly sales, while shares of Nordstrom and J.C. Penney each dropped more than 7 percent. Dillard’s shares plunged 17.5 percent after the retailer said same-store sales fell 4 percent.

“The brick-and-mortar are getting hurt probably more than anybody would have expected,” Anthony Conroy, President of Abel Noser in New York, told Reuters.

The weak corporate reports left investors looking to April retail sales data due out on

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