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Post-holiday comps up slightly

New York - Same-store sales rose 1.9% in the second week of January following a 2.1% gain the prior week, according to the Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index.

Comps in the discount channel rose 2.5% during the week ended Jan. 12, while same-store sales in the department store segment ticked up 0.8%.

Consumers continue to redeem gift cards. Sales leader lists varied widely from store to store, which is fairly typically of a transitional, trend-less, promotion driven month, explained Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst.

"Department stores are typically volatile in January as they work through the annual clean out of winter inventory and drive sales by pricing and advertising," she noted.

"Discount stores, on the other hand, returned to a more normal environment following the holiday season, showing strong business in consumer basics and food," she added.

The focus in January is on shifting and clearing out merchandise to make room for Valentine's Day offerings and spring sets.



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