Redbook: same-store sales grow

Results gain momentum in 2nd week of May

NEW YORK — Picking up steam as the Memorial Day holiday nears, retail same-store sales moved up by 2.6 percent over year-ago levels during the second week of May, gaining on the 2.2 percent increase recorded during the first week of the month, the Redbook Retail Sales Average reported.

For the first two weeks of May, same-store sales were 2.4 percent ahead of a year ago, slightly shy of a target of 2.6 percent. Month-to-date same-store sales rose by 0.6 percent from April levels, slightly off the target of a 0.8 percent gain.

"Sales were better than the pace set a week earlier," said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. "Most surveyed companies were slightly below plan for the month-to-date. Retailers were up against last year's pre-Mother's Day shopping week, making for a difficult comparison."

Levis added, "In order to increase customer traffic, some discount stores have continued to bring customers into their stores by emphasizing basic consumable goods, such as cleaning supplies, food, health and beauty aid products. Warmer weather also helped discount stores move horticultural products and other seasonal items."

At the nation's lagging department store channel, "sales were led by home appliances, tools, women's apparel and women's accessories," said Levis. "After a slow start, business has improved going into the Memorial Day weekend. Regionally, the west and midwest were the most active areas."

Redbook Retail Sales Average
Second Week of May

Week ended 5/12 5/19 5/26 6/2 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores.
Source: Redbook Retail Sales Average, a unit of Instinet, a Reuters company.
Department Stores* -1.0 -0.6 -0.8 -0.6 -1.0 -0.6
Discounters 3.6 4.0 3.8 4.1 3.6 4.1
Redbook Average 2.2 2.6 2.4 2.6 2.2 2.6

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