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Upstairs Chains Trail Modest July Goals

Department store operators slipped further behind comparable-store sales goals in the second week of July, while discounters held steady, the Johnson Redbook reported.

This was true even though the goal for department stores was a negative 0.4% comp change; upstairs comps fell by 1.2% in the second week.

Overall, the Index was up 2.6% for the week. Month-to-date, July was up 2.7%, relative to a target of a 2.9% gain.

"Sales performance in the second week of the month was mixed with a slight pick-up in discount store sales compensating for a pull back at department stores," reported Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. "Some department stores experienced a lull in activity as a weather-driven surge in seasonal sales winds down before back-to-school takes over. Discounters did their best business in consumer staples such as food, household supplies and health and beauty aids."

"Retailers are providing customers with competitive prices on items in order to build loyalty and to drive repeat traffic. With some schools starting early, state sales tax holidays are approaching quickly this year and retailers are accordingly preparing special sales and extending hours for back-to-school," Levis concluded.

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

Week ended 7/12 7/19 7/26 8/2 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* -0.6 -1.2 -0.9 -0.4
Discounters 4.7 4.8 4.7 4.9
Redbook Index 2.7 2.6 2.7 2.9

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