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Snow storms cast chill on comp growth

Redbook_DecemberNew York - Hindered by inclement winter weather conditions, comps fell short of plan with a 2.6% gain last week, according to the Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index.

Month-to-date, December was up 2.6% compared to December of last year, relative to a revised target of a 3.8% gain. Month-over-month showed a 1.5% drop, relative to a 0.4% drop.

December is a five-week month on the retail calendar, ending on Jan. 4, 2014.

"Retailers described the week as a lull that began the weekend after a post-Thanksgiving surge," explained Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst. "Retailers noted, however, that the pause was typical for the first week of December and would likely be followed by an equally predictable steady buildup towards Christmas."

In the northern plains and upper Midwestern states retailers said sales were impacted by heavy snow storms, some which led to reduced store hours.

Redbook expects consumers to defer purchasing until closer to Christmas and is projecting sales to be strongest in the third and fourth week of the month.


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