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Business firmed up in 3rd week of July  

Week ended 7/12 7/19 7/26 8/2 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* -0.6  -1.2  -1.4   -1.1 -0.4
Discounters 4.7  4.8  4.8   5.0 4.9
Redbook Index 2.7  2.6  2.9   2.7 2.9

New York – Summer clearance sales and the first wave of back-to-school merchandise led to a 2.9% comp increase during the third week of July, the Johnson Redbook reported today.

Discounters posted the most solid comps, with a month-to-date increase of 5.0% vs. a monthly target of 4.9%. Department stores lost some traction with a 1.4 decrease following a 1.2 decline in the second week of the month.

Heat waves in parts of the country propelled sales of seasonal items from air conditioners to apparel, while Hurricane Dolly spurred Texas area residents to stock up on bottled water and other basics, according to Redbook analyst Catlin Levis.

“Core consumer goods such as food and household supplies continue to drive sales at discounters,” she said. “Children’s apparel categories have moved higher on some retailers’ weekly sales leader lists, however demand for this merchandise is not expected to replace summer seasonal business until August.”

Many retailers are looking forward to tax holiday shopping to catalyze consumer spending, she added.

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