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Comps come off Columbus Day bounce

New York - Same-store sales last week rose1.3% following a 1.8% gain the prior week, according to The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index.

Month-to-date, October comps were up 1.6% compared to October of last year, relative to a target of a 1.9% gain. Month-over-month showed a 1.7% drop (relative to a target of a 1.4% drop).

The overall comp for the discount channel gained 2.3% for the week ended October 20 and fell 0.6% in the department store segment.

Redbook analyst Catlin Levis explained that sales pulled back after the Columbus Day holiday sales the prior week. Strength in Halloween-related merchandise sales is building "as we get closer to the end of the month," she added.

Halloween is two days later this year versus last year, so some Halloween business could be pushed out of October's retail calendar -- which technically closes on Saturday the 27th - and into November.

"Meanwhile, to get an early start to the holiday season, some stores have already stocked shelves with Christmas merchandise along with Halloween items," noted Levis. "Retailers said demand for seasonal clothing continued along with cooler weather. Activity at discount stores was focused on consumer staples, such as food, pharmaceuticals and household goods."


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