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BTS shopping gives boost to comps

Redbook September 10 2013New York - The back-to-school season was at its height over the long Labor Day weekend, helping drive up comps 4.6% last week, according to the Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index.

For the retail week ended Sept. 7, September was up 4.6% compared to September of last year, relative to a revised Redbook target of a 4.2% gain. Month-over-month showed a 0.3% gain, relative to a flat target.

Same-store sales were up 5.9% in the discount store channel and 2.2% in the department store sector.

September is a five-week month on the retail calendar ending on October 5th.

"Both Sunday and Monday turned out to be big shopping days as this year's back-to-school season reached its peak," noted Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst. "Thereafter, business tailed off sharply in the middle of the week only to build up again into the weekend."

Overall, same-store sales came in slightly ahead of plan, she said. In the discount channel, the strong performers were children clothing, shoes and lower margin back-to-school supplies and food. There was no clear trend line in the department store sector, she said.

Levis added sales results for the week also benefited from year-over-year comparisons as this year's Labor Day fell a week earlier than last year.

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