Shares in the stores fell, with Macy's down 4 percent and Kohl Corp.'s off nearly 9 percent. Dillard's Inc. dropped 15 percent after reporting a loss of $17.1 million.

Macy's has cut jobs and closed some stores to try to reverse falling sales. It has also started an off-price brand, and it plans to launch a loyalty program in the fall that it hopes will bring more shoppers through its doors. CEO Jeff Gennette cited "a notable contribution" from changes in the women's shoes and jewelry departments.

And Kohl's is trying to attract more shoppers by offering more outside brands and cutting some of its in-house clothing lines.

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