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February same-store sales strong in mass channel

Week ended 2/9 2/16 2/23 3/1 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* 0.1 0.1 0.6
Discounters 0.9 0.9 0.8
Redbook Index 0.6 0.6 0.7



New York – Comparable-store retail sales tipped up 0.6% in the first week of the February retail month, slightly below plan but well above the 0.2% comp gain in the final January week, the Johnson Redbook reported today.

Discounters fared better -- posting a 0.9% comp gain -- than did department stores, where the 0.1% rise was well below the segment month’s target of 0.6%.

February is a four-week month on the retail calendar ending on March 1.

“Most retailers were running below their February plans by the end of the first week,” warned Redbook analyst Catlin Levis as she observed performance in the first week of the 2008 retail year.

“Certain retailers noted that the televised coverage of Super Bowl Sunday and the Super Tuesday presidential primaries diverted consumers' attention, in additional to severe tornadoes and storms which ripped across Southern states, disrupting many homes and businesses,” Levis said.

“Stores with broad product lines reported strength in food and household basics. Elsewhere, as Valentine's Day approaches, stores saw a pick up in sales of candy, cosmetics and fashion accessories,” she added.

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