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January Sales Miss Target

New York Cooled by winter storms, same-store retail sales grew 2.4 percent during the fourth and final week of January, behind the 2.8 percent growth put up the prior week, and growth of more than 3 percent during the first two weeks of the month.

For the four-week period, same-store sales came in at 2.9 percent, missing a target of 3.2 percent growth, the Johnson Redbook Index reported. Department stores and discounters came in beneath plan for the month. Department store sales edged up 0.4 percent, beneath a targeted 0.8 percent growth. And discounter sales rose 4.4 percent, slightly below a target of 4.7 percent.

“Sales in the final week were adversely affected by winter storms in the Northeast and the Midwest parts of the country,” said Redbook Analyst Catlin Levis. “Cold temperatures are typically welcome during winter clearances, however, in this case severe snowstorms kept shoppers at home and forced stores to close.”

In the midst of the poor weather, “department stores continued to clear winter inventories,” said Levis.

Looking ahead, the analyst set a target of 2.8 percent same-store sales growth for February, a four-week month which marks the start of the new fiscal year for most retailers.

Johnson Redbook Index
Fourth week of January

WEEK ENDED 1/8 1/15 1/22 1/29 MONTH TARGET
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores.
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* 1.1 1.5 0.0 -1.1 0.4 0.8
Discounters 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.4 4.7
Redbook Average 3.1 3.3 2.8 2.4 2.9 3.2

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