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February comps end on high note

March projected for a 3.0% gain

New York - The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was up 3.4% in the fourth and final week of February following a 2.9% gain in the prior week.

Month-to-date, February comps rose 2.9% compared to February of last year, relative to a target of a 2.8% gain. Month-over-month showed a 1.6% gain compared to January, relative to a target of a 1.5% gain.

"President's Day sales offered opportunities to clear remaining winter inventories," noted Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst.

"Retailers said that sales in the final week of February held up better with warmer weather," she added. "Retailers are optimistic to see that early business in spring apparel is moving at full price in addition to other seasonal categories."

The month closed slightly ahead of Redbook's targets.

The firm's preliminary March target for the Redbook Index is 3.0% year-over-year gain in same-store sales, which would result in a 1.6% gain over February.


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