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Retailers Heat Up in the Cold Weather

Cool weather during the first week of November led to a hot retail sales performance. The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index rose by a healthy 3.6 percent in the first week of the 11th month, versus the same week last year.

That pickup followed on a 3.2 percent increase in the index for the final week of October. Redbook attributed the gain to a lively business in apparel, brought on by cool weather throughout most of the nation, and by last-minute Halloween shopping, which boosted sales consumer staples and home-related durable goods.

The presidential election kept business soft at the beginning of the week, but gained momentum afterward as sunny weather rolled in toward the end of the week, bringing shoppers out to the malls.

“Most merchants saw improved business in seasonal apparel and other weather-driven items,” Redbook reported. “Holiday merchandise sales are beginning to pick up as some stores are promoting earlier than usual.”

November is a four-week month on this year's retail calendar, ending Nov. 27. Redbook predicted that demand for cold-weather and gift apparel should begin to accelerate in the second half of the month.

Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index
First week of November

Week ended: 11/6 11/13 11/20 11/27 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores.
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* 3.5% 3.5% 3.3%
Discount 3.7 3.7 3.7
Redbook Index 3.6 3.6 3.5

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