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Comps Keep Pace in September Start

Retailers broadly kept the pace coming out of a satisfactory August, as same store sales rose 2.8% in the first week of September, beating the 2.6% goal, the Johnson Redbook reported.

The volume to date was up 1.1% over August, vs. the goal of an 0.8% rise. September is a five-week retail month, ending on Saturday, Oct. 6.

The month-to-date gains by both the discount and department store segments edged above their monthly targets, which Redbook pegged at 3.0% and 1.8%, respectively.

"Sales were above plan in the first week of September, which included Labor Day weekend, driving traffic early in the week. Both Sunday and Monday turned out to be big shopping days as this year's back-to-school season reached its peak," said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis.

"Sales continue to be driven by the twin themes of back-to-school and seasonal apparel. Some retailers are nearing the end of their back-to-school calendars, while others expect the momentum of back-to-school to last through September, reflected in sales of children's clothing, school supplies and electronics," she said.

Johnson Redbook Index
First week of September, year-over-year % change

Week ended 9/8 9/15 9/22 9/29 10/6 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* 2.1 2.1 1.8
Discounters 3.2 3.2 3.0
Redbook Index 2.8 2.8 2.6

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