Comp Sales Fall Shy in July
August 5, 2006,
Following a long stretch of the summer doldrums as consumers held on tight to their wallets and shunned the malls, same-store retail sales firmed up as July drew to a close, and rose by 2.8% during the fourth and final week of the month, the Johnson Redbook Index reported.
Both channels made a stronger showing during the close, with department stores up 2.0%, improving on a 1.7% increase the week before. Discounters did even better, up 3.3% during the closing week, well ahead of the prior week's gain of 2.3%.
Both channels came up shy and missed their target for all of July, department stores being hardest hit, moving up by 2.2%, falling short of a hoped for 2.8% gain. With their reliance on day-to-day consumables that households need, discounters fared better, sales up 3.0%, against a target of 3.4%.
“The final week held few surprises as retailers finished out the small, transitional month of July,” said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. “Some reported a firmer tone in sales toward the weekend which they attributed to early back-to-school marketing campaigns. Heat waves across most of the country also boosted summer clearance. Florida merchants reported the tax-free holiday drew more store traffic than on a normal week.”
Hoping for more from the back-to-school season, the Redbook analyst said her preliminary sales target for the four-week month of August is a same-store increase of 3.5%, or about 0.5% ahead of July.
Johnson Redbook Index
Fourth week of July, year-over-year % change
|*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index