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July Comps Build Momentum

Retailers staying on target during the third week of July with comparable store sales up 2.9%, the Johnson Redbook reported.

Month-to-date, July was up 2.8% compared to July of last year, and up 0.5% over June, both figures in line with targeted gains. Discounters were somewhat ahead of goal, making up for department stores' shortfall – although the upstairs chains are operating against a much higher monthly target: 3.6% vs. 2.4% for discounters.

July is a four-week month on the fiscal calendar, ending Saturday, August 4.

"In the most recent period retailers continued to focus on clearing summer goods and bringing in back-to-school merchandise," said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. "Core consumer goods such as food and household supplies continued to drive sales at discount stores. Moreover, retailers in 14 states and the District of Columbia are gearing up for the tax holidays in August, where back-to-school items will be able to be purchased without paying sales taxes."

Johnson Redbook Index
Third week of July, year-over-year % change

Week ended 7/14 7/21 7/28 8/4 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* 3.2 3.1 3.2 3.2 3.6
Discounters 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.6 2.4
Redbook Average 2.7 2.8 2.9 2.8 2.8


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