Redbook avg. falls short of target

With seasonal business coming up short, stymied by soggy, stormy weather in parts of the country, same-store sales moved up by 1.7 percent above year-ago levels during the first week of May but still fell short of plan, according to the Redbook Retail Sales Average.

Redbook analyst Catlin Levis said year-over-year sales had been been expected to climb even higher, by 2.4 percent. On a month-over-month basis, sales fell off by 0.5 percent from April levels, compared with a modest targeted increase of 0.2 percent.

Redbook's retail sample missed its target in the first week of May, said Levis, as seasonal business disappointed some stores, "with some claiming that rainy and stormy weather put a damper on business."

Levis said, "Trade in Mother's Day items such as flowers, jewelry, cosmetics, cards and small appliances, while brisk, did not actually boost annual growth rates since the event occurred at the same time last year. Memorial Day, which falls in the final week of May, is similarly anniversaried."

Both major channels of distribution fell shy of the mark during the week, with discounter sales advancing by 4.0 percent, compared with a targeted gain of 5.0 percent. Sales in the persistently weak department store group fell by 1.8 percent, slightly worse than a forecast 1.5 percent decline.

Redbook Retail Sales Average
First week of May

Week ended 5/11 5/18 5/25 6/1 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores.
Source: Redbook Retail Sales Average, a unit of Instinet, a Reuters company.
Department stores* -1.8 -1.8 -1.5
Discounters 4.0 4.0 5.0
Redbook Average 1.7 1.7 2.4

Home & Textiles Today Staff | News & Commentary

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