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April Comps Feel Impact of Easter Shift

The relocation of Easter into March this year contributed to April comps falling short of their target, the Johnson Redbook reported last week.

Compared to April 2009, comps rose 2.4%, missing the 2.8% target projected by the Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index. Month over month, comps showed a 2.2% decline compared to March. The combined same-store sales rate for March and April was 3.2%.

For the final week of April, comps rose 1.7%. Department stores recorded a 0.8% comp increase, with discounters posted a gain of 2.2%.

“During the week, sales results were mixed as some retailers reported a strong finish to the week approaching Mother's Day, May 9th,” said Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst.

Best sellers included jewelry, accessories and seasonal apparel, she added. Several other categories were impacted by “unseasonably cool weather and floods in the Southeast states.” Levis said.

Redbook's initial target for May is a year-over-year gain of 3.2%.

Johnson Redbook Index
Fourth week of April, year-over-year % change

WEEK ENDED 4/10 4/17 4/24 5/1 MONTH TARGET
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* 2.0 1.5 1.3 0.8 1.4 1.3
Discounters 4.1 3.1 2.7 2.2 3.0 3.6
Redbook Index 3.3 2.6 2.2 1.7 2.4 2.8

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