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January same-store sales slip further  

Week ended 1/12 1/19 1/26 2/2 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* -0.3 -0.6 -0.9 -0.6 -0.3
Discounters 1.6 1.4 1.2 1.4 1.9
Redbook Index 0.9 0.7 0.4 0.7 1.1


New York – Comparable store retail sales headed toward a sluggish finale as most retailers’ fiscal years wind down toward the finish on Saturday, Feb. 2, with comps up just 0.4% in the third week of January, slowing from a 0.7% gain the week before, the Johnson Redbook reported today.

Month-to-date, January same store sales are up 0.7%, lagging the 1.1% target. Comps have slid steadily since opening with a gain of 0.9% in the first week of the retail month.

Softlines are in particularly tough shape as regards margins, Redbook reported.

“The consumer is still in a penny-pinching mood and gross margins for soft goods continued to be under pressure,” said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis.

“The focus on clearance and inventory reshaping continued to make for thin, sporadic activity during the week. Some retailers claimed to sense an active tone during the Martin Luther King holiday,” Levis said.

“Retailers said consumers continued to be drawn into stores for after-holiday sales, but that average purchases were modest. Weekly sales leaders lists indicated a shift away from clearance categories toward more everyday items,” Levis continued. “With the Super Bowl on Feb. 3, stores are gearing up for Super Bowl related merchandise promotions. Sales of HDTVs and furniture went up according to some retailers.”

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