Comp sales sag at department stores  

Week ended 8/9 8/16 8/23 8/30 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* -3.4  -4.1   -3.8 -2.2
Discounters 4.4  4.5     4.4 3.9
Redbook Index 1.5  1.3   1.4 1.6

New York – Department stores saw same-store sales slowing further, down 4.1% in the second week of August, the Johnson Redbook reported today.

Discounters continued on a steady pace, however, salvaging an overall month-to-date comp gain of 1.4%, against the 1.6% goal.

“Consumers are focusing on consumer basics such as food and household supplies,” said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. “Clearance activity is expected to decline rapidly over the next few weeks, depending on individual transition programs. Meanwhile, shoppers took advantage of Texas' annual sales-tax-free week as it came to an end last Sunday.”

As dampeners on sales growth, Levis pointed to “the hot weather and growing trend of consumers purchasing back-to-school clothing as they need them rather than ahead of time. Parents, who subsidize teen spending, are tightening their purse strings. Early back-to-school apparel results generally have lagged behind plan, but it is still too early to call this a trend.”

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