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December comps exceeded expectations

New York - The Christmas weekend blizzard may have knocked nationwide travel off course but it didn't derail shoppers, according to the Johnson Redbook.
Aggregate comps for December rose 3.6%, outpacing a projected 3.2% gain. During the final week of the month, comps were up a smart 4.7% at department stores and 2.8% at discounters.
"Clearance sales of seasonal inventory were certainly a factor in post Christmas buying. There were reports of significant upside performance at some department stores, which tend to be more promotional than discount stores this time of year," said Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst.
Redbook's preliminary target for January is a 2.8% gain over January 2010, which would mark a 0.5% decline from December.

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