Seasonal Goods Aid Retail

With warm weather finally settling in across the country, same-store retail sales continued to run ahead of plan during the third week of June, helped by strong sales of seasonal goods, the Johnson Redbook Index reported.

Sales climbed 4.1 percent during the week, building on gains of 3.3 and 3.7 percent respectively during the two preceding weeks. For the three weeks month-to-date, sales grew 3.7 percent, besting a target of 3.2 percent growth.

Mass merchant sales improved 4.6 percent during the week, and for the three weeks month-to-date rose 4.1 percent, surpassing targeted growth of 3.7 percent. Sales in full-price department stores and chains climbed 3 percent, breezing past a target of 2.4 percent.

“Sales momentum continues to be firmer in the third week of June, as our model runs comfortably ahead of plan month-to-date,” said Redbook Analyst Catlin Levis. “As warm weather rolled in, retailers again saw strength in seasonal soft and hard lines such as swimwear, shorts, women's sportswear, air-conditioners and sporting goods.”

Moreover, said the analyst, “Father's Day and graduation brought people into stores and drove traffic in sales of stationery, men's apparel, career wear and gift cards, all of which produce positive spill-over business in other product areas.”

Levis said, “Earlier worries among retailers about increased inventories and markdowns due to unseasonable weather have lessened, although some excesses are still out there. Regional patterns varied by retailers, but, on balance, the Northeast outperformed the rest of the country.”

Johnson Redbook Index
Third week of June

Week ended 6/4 6/11 6/18 6/26 7/2 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores.
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* 2.8 3.0 3.3 3.0 2.4
Discounters 3.6 4.2 4.6 4.1 3.7
Redbook Average 3.3 3.7 4.1 3.7 3.2

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