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May same-store sales start below plan

New York — Even though sales of seasonal goods got a lift from warmer weather, same-store retail sales came in modestly beneath plan during the first week of May, possibly hurt by a one-week shift in the Mother's Day holiday, the Johnson Redbook Index reported.

Same-store sales moved up by 3.2% over the year-before level, but missed a targeted gain of 3.5%, said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. Sales for the week were 2.9% beneath April for the same week, falling off even more than an expected 2.6% decline.

"Our model ended the week below plan, possibly reflecting a difficult year-ago comparison," said Levis. "The one-week shift in Mother's Day had a depressing effect on year-over-year growth rates. The event falls a week later this year than last, complicating comparisons in the first week."

Merchants anticipate the full effect of the event to occur during the second week of May. "With seasonable weather in place across much of the country, and the Mother's Day technical effect due to turn positive, the second week is expected to set the trend for the month," Levis said.

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