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Redbook sales index up in February's first week

New York -- The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was up 2.5% in the first week of February.

Month-to-date, February was up 2.5% compared to February of last year, relative to a target of a 2.8% gain. Month-over-month showed a 1.2% gain compared to January, relative to a target of a 1.5% gain.

February is a four-week month on the retail calendar, ending on Feb. 25.

Most stores were tracking on or slightly below their monthly targets as the period ended. Like January, February is generally regarded as a transitional month, combining final clearance of winter merchandise with early introduction of spring goods.

"Some retailers continue to clear pockets of winter goods at marked down prices, although this represented a less significant portion of their business," noted Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst. "In addition, Super Bowl Sunday drew sales of big screen televisions, snack food, beverages, team apparel and other related merchandise leading up to the event."

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