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Same-store sales slide into January  

Week ended 1/12 1/19 1/26 2/2 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* -0.3 -0.3 -0.3
Discounters 1.6 1.6 1.9
Redbook Index 0.9 0.9 1.1

New York – Same-store retail sales sleepwalked into the first week of the January retail month, posting a gain of 0.9%, vs. the 1.0% gain the previous week, the Johnson Redbook reported today, a trend merchants will have to shake off if they are to make the modest goal of a 1.1% comp gain for the month.

January is a four-week month on the retail calendar, ending Saturday, Feb. 2, and is the final month of the fourth quarter for most retailers.

Department stores are expected to register a comp drop of 0.3% for January – which they met during the first week – while discounters plan a 1.9% upswing, but reached just a 1.6% comp gain in the first week.

“Retailers noted that consumers were motivated by low prices as January clearance sales got under way and stores posted markdowns to move seasonal inventories,” said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis.

“Clearance will be the key theme in January, with most retailers planning to bring in new spring merchandise from about the middle of the month,” she added. “Promotional clearances and price discounting, especially by stores with large stocks of unsold holiday goods, are expected to cut profit margins.”

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