Same-store sales best July targets

NEW YORK — With the back-to-school season starting to kick in, and buoyed by sales of summer merchandise, same-store retail jumped 3.9 percent during the fourth and final week of July, providing a strong finish to the month, the Johnson Redbook Index reported.

The nation's department stores turned in a notably strong performance, with sales climbing 3.8 percent, improving on a 2.7 percent increase the week before. Discounter sales rose 4 percent, slightly ahead of the prior-week increase of 3.9 percent.

For all of July, both department stores and discounters easily beat their targets, coming in substantially ahead of plan. Department stores finished out the month with a 2.8 percent boost, besting a targeted gain of 2.2 percent. Discounter sales climbed 3.4 percent, ahead of a targeted 2.8 percent increase.

The overall same-store sales for all of July rose 3.2 percent from year-before levels, beating a targeted 2.6 percent gain. Measured on a month-over-month basis, sales were 0.1 percent below June levels, a big improvement over a forecast decline of 0.7 percent.

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