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November Ends On High Note With Comp Boost

NEW YORK - The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was up 4.5% in the fourth and final week of November following a 1.8% gain the prior week.
     Month-to-date, November was up 2.2% compared to November of last year, besting Redbook's target of a 2.1% gain. Month-over month showed a 0.8% gain, relative to a target of a 0.7% gain.
     Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst, noted the fourth week of November, including the Friday and Saturday following Thanksgiving, "was, as is typically the case, among the busiest and most closely watched shopping weeks of the year because of the clues it provides to the Christmas season as a whole."
     Extensive promotional activities and extended shopping hours drew in customers.
     "This final burst of strength was sufficient to enable many stores to improve their overall monthly results," she added. "While traffic rose, the sharp discounts could actually hurt the bottom line of some retailers."
     "Early indications for December are for a comparable tone of guarded optimism," Levis added, with same-store gains projected to be 2.6% year-over-year and a 0.2% gain versus November.

Johnson Redbook Index

Fourth week of November, year-over-year % change

WEEK ENDED

11/3   

   11/10

    11/17

  11/24

  MONTH

  TARGET

Department stores*

(0.7)

(0.2)

0.0

2.9

0.5

0.3

Discounters

1.5

2.6

2.8

5.4

3.1

3.1

Redbook Index

0.8

1.6

1.8

4.5

2.2

2.1

*Including chain stores and traditional department stores

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