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Promotional pricing perks sales

NEW YORK — Helped by seasonal shopping and more promotional pricing as retailers clear shelves for the holidays, same-store retail sales perked up 2.8 percent during the second week of October, the Johnson Redbook reported.

The week gained slightly on the prior week, with its 2.8 percent increase, and put sales for the two weeks month to date modestly ahead of plan, up 2.9 percent, compared with a forecast gain of 2.7 percent.Discounter sales improved 3.8 percent, slightly ahead of their 3.7 percent gain the week before. But department store sales remained soft, rising 1.7 percent, improving on a 1.4 percent increase the preceding week."Seasonal shopping was the driver in the second week," commented Redbook Analyst Catlin Levis. "Apparel sales may also have been stimulated by more promotional pricing as stores sought to shift goods ahead of the holiday season."Colder weather, Levis added, is "expected eventually to trigger seasonal demand for apparel inventory, and some retailers claim the process has already begun, as sales picked up into the weekend, especially in the north, where fall weather prevailed. Some sources noted they were also beginning to see early interest in Christmas-related items."

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