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Back-to-school off to a sputtering start

Second week of August year-over-year % change

Week ended 8/8 8/15 8/22 829 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* -6.2  -6.6 -6.4 -6.4
Discounters -3.1 -3.4 -3.2  -3.1
Redbook Index -4.2 -4.5 -4.4 -4.3

New York – With back-to-school shopping soft, same-store sales in the second week of August fell 4.5%, the Johnson Redbook reported today.

Compared to August last year, sales were down 4.4%, according to the Johnson Redbook Index. The drop was 0.7% relative to July.

“Early back-to-school apparel results generally have lagged behind plan, but it is still too early to call this trend,” said Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst.

“The tail-end of state tax-free holidays included Sunday, Aug. 9 and helped to propel traffic and sales. With regional differences in school calendars and individual variations in merchandising schedules, the timing of the new seasonal programs varied from store to store, and it remains far too early to tell how consumers are reacting to them,” she said.

Most students will return to school after the Labor Day Holiday, she added, which should push some back-to-school sales into September.



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