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Comps up slightly, still clearance-oriented

New York - The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was up 1.5% in the fifth and final week of January following a 1.6% gain the prior week.

Month-to-date, January was up 1.8% compared to January of last year, missing Redbook's target of a 2.3% gain. Month-over-month showed a 0.6% drop, relative to a target of a flat reading.

Redbook analyst Catlin Levis noted clearance should continue to dominate sales activity for several more weeks as old merchandise is moved out and fresh early spring goods arrive.

Food and Super Bowl-related merchandise sales got a lift during the week.

Looking ahead, February is a four-week month on the retail calendar, ending on March 2, and is the start of the fiscal year for most retailers. The month contains two major selling events: Valentine's Day and President's Day.

Redbook's preliminary February target is year-for over-year same-store store growth of 2.2%. That would generate a month-over-month change of 0.9%.


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