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June Comps in Flaccid Finish

Finishing off a disappointing June performance, same-store retail sales continued to chart a downward trek during the fifth and final week of the month, edging up a mangy 0.8% and continuing to lose steam following a soft 1.2% gain the preceding week.

For the entire month, sales were up just 1.4% over year-before levels, falling well short of a target of a 1.9% gain, the Johnson Redbook reported. And measured against the month before, sales fell by 1.3% from May levels, deeper than a targeted drop of 0.8%.

"Sales were below plan in the final week of June, making for a disappointing, though not particularly surprising, end to an underperforming month," said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. "The sales tone was set after Father's Day in the third week when sales came in below target and did not recover."

This year's calendar took a further toll on sales, said the analyst. "The Fourth of July this year fell on Wednesday, thereby creating an extended weekend for many consumers who preferred vacationing to shopping." Putting a further crimp in sales was soggy weather in parts of the country. "Storms and flooding also dampened Fourth of July celebrations in regions such as Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas."

Looking ahead, Levis said the four weeks of July (ending Aug. 4) "is typically a relatively low-volume period, with sales driven by promotions as stores clear summer goods and restock for fall." The analyst set a preliminary target for year-over-year growth of 2.6%, equivalent to a 0.7% gain over June.

Johnson Redbook Index
Fifth week of June, year-over-year % change

Week ended 6/9 6/16 6/23 6/30 7/7 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* 0.7 1.2 0.6 0.4 0.1 0.6 1.0
Discounters 2.4 2.5 2.0 1.7 1.3 2.0 2.5
Redbook Index 1.7 2.0 1.4 1.2 0.8 1.4 1.9


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