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Retailers Already Saying Thanks

With early promotions spurring holiday sales and cooler weather helping sales of seasonal apparel, same-store retail sales advanced 4.2 percent during the first week of November, the Johnson Redbook Index reported.

Sales came in modestly ahead of plan, nudging past a targeted 4.1 percent increase, and rose 0.5 percent against October versus a target of 0.4 percent.

“Despite overall above-plan performance, not all retailers caught the upswing in seasonal business and continued to depend on mainstay categories such as consumer staples,” said Redbook Analyst Catlin Levis. “Last-minute shopping for Halloween-related merchandise gave a lift to customer traffic and helped to spur sales across a broad range of cool-weather apparel categories early in the week.”

At the same time, the analyst noted, “Holiday merchandise sales are beginning to trickle in as some stores are promoting earlier, but other stores will not be fully stocked for the holidays until the day after Thanksgiving.”

Looking ahead to the big final week of November and the blow-out shopping days that follow the Thanksgiving holiday, Levis said, “November is ending with the official start of the holiday season after Thanksgiving, which falls in the final week. November is a transitional month in which retailers clear unsold fall merchandise and prepare for the holiday season. The month is significantly back-loaded, with most business contributed in the last two days following Thanksgiving.”

Johnson Redbook Index
First week of November

WEEK ENDED 11/5 11/12 11/19 11/26 MONTH TARGET
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores.
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* 3.4 3.4 3.3
Discounters 4.8 4.8 4.6
Redbook Index 4.2 4.2 4.1

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