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Home sales lift Redbook Avg. 3.5%

With consumers still in a good mood and heading out to the malls, same-store retail sales climbed by 3.5 percent during the third week of October, driven largely by broad-based sales of home-related products.

Once again lifted by a strong performance at the nation's discounters, the Redbook Retail Sales Average moved up during the week, with most retailers meeting or beating expectations.

"Sales were on or somewhat above plan in the third week of February," said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. "Some retailers said Presidents' Day sales at the beginning of the week offered additional opportunities to clear remaining fall and winter inventories but did not appear to contribute much additional sales momentum."

During the third week of February, said Levis, "diversified retailers saw strong business in consumer basics such as food and health and beauty products. Home-related items, however, including furniture, appliances and hardware, continued their run across a wide front, driven by a continuing strong housing market and mild weather."

Apparel also did well, Levis noted, "as customers reacted favorably to early spring merchandise and continued to benefit from residual markdowns and clearances of winter goods. The Northeast and mid-Atlantic were cited as the strongest sales regions."

Redbook Retail Sales Average
Third week of February

Week ended 2/9 2/16 2/23 3/2 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores.
Source: Redbook Retail Sales Average, a unit of Instinet, a Reuters company.
Department Stores* -0.7 -0.9 -1.2 -0.9 -1.2
Discounters 7.5 7.1 6.7 7.1 6.3
Redbook Average 4.2 3.9 3.5 3.9 3.3


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