Home goods, commodities supported comps last week

Retail Editor 2, September 17, 2013

New York - A change in the calendar coupled with erratic sales related to the lingering back to school season took up comps by 3.4% in the second week of September following a 4.6% gain the prior week, according to the Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index.

For the retail week ended Sept. 14, same-store sales rose 4.2% in the discount channel and 1.8% in the department store sector.

Month-to-date, September was up 4.0% compared to September of last year, relative to a target of a 4.2% gain. Month-over-month showed a 0.3% drop, relative to a flat target.

Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst, said sales were slower for most stores in the second week of September.

"Some merchants may have been negatively affected by a mismatched comparison with last year's Labor Day week," she continued. "Back-to-school activity continued to show sporadic evidence of buyers nibbling at fall apparel. However, elsewhere business was sustained by basic commodities and home goods."

Unseasonably warm weather appeared to lower demand for fall apparel, a mainstay of the current cycle.

But going forward this month, retailers are "stocked up and ready for shoppers to embrace their fall offerings, but not until the weather cooperates and the fall season gets under way in earnest," Levis added.



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