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Comps climb almost 5% in October's 1st week

New York - Seasonal purchases helped push the Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index up 4.8% in the first week of October.

Same-store sales rose 5.2% in the discount channel and 3.9% in the department store segment for the week ended Saturday, Oct. 8.

Redbook analyst Catlin Levis noted October's first week "started slowly but improved toward the Columbus Day long weekend as shoppers took advantage of holiday promotions."

Merchandise focus for most retailers this month falls on mid-fall seasonal apparel, Halloween, winter sports and early holiday.

"The month includes the buildup to Halloween, which falls one day later this year than last year. Merchants said sales in these areas are starting to build," Levis said. "Apparel sales may also have been stimulated by more promotional pricing as stores sought to shift goods ahead of the holiday season."

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