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Retail Sales Fall Short of Plan

The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was up 3.7 percent in the second week of August, short of a 3.9 percent targeted gain.

Last week’s performance follows a 4 percent gain seen during the prior week. Month-to-date, August was up 3.8 percent.

“Early back-to-school apparel results generally have lagged behind plan, but it is still too early to call this a trend. The weather was cited as a factor as abnormally hot temperatures across much of the country depressed demand for fall apparel and consumers instead focused on items such as food, household supplies, air conditioners and outdoor equipment,” according to Redbook Analyst Catlin Levis.

Meanwhile, state tax-free holidays in Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas had one day last week, Sunday Aug. 7, to help boost traffic and sales in those regions, she added.

“August remains transitional as retailers combine the remnants of summer clearance selling with fall restocking and back-to-school promotions,” Levis continued. “Retailers are hoping that the third quarter, which began this month, will represent a fresh start from a renewed customer.”

August is a four-week month on the retail calendar, ending Aug. 27.

Johnson Redbook Index
First week of August

week ended 8/6 8/13 8/20 8/27 month target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores.
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* 3.4 3.0 3.2 3.3
Discounters 4.3 4.2 4.3 4.2
Redbook Average 4.0 3.7 3.8 3.9

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