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Home goods sales helped boost results for a second straight week

New York — Extending a recent winning streak, same-store retail sales perked up by 3.6 percent over year-ago levels during the first week of September, driven by strong sales of home goods and robust Labor Day weekend sales, the Redbook Retail Sales Average reported.

Sales came in slightly ahead of plan — a target of 3.4 percent growth — helped by strong growth at discounters, where sales for the week improved by 5.2 percent, besting a target of a 4.8 percent increase. Sales at department stores were on target, rising by 1.2 percent.

While running well ahead of year-before levels, sales slipped by 0.9 percent from the strong first week of August, but still came in better than expected, beating a forecast decline of 1.1 percent.

For a second straight week, sales of home-related goods, including domestics, helped drive the gains. Redbook analyst Catlin Levis said, "Home-related goods such as household appliances, home furnishings and other domestic soft line items sold well."

Some discounters are cautious that rising gasoline prices may restrain demand. Results at department stores, she noted, "were more ambiguous."

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