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Comps continue steady incline

New York - Same-store sales rose 1.8% in the third week of November following a 1.6% gain the prior week, according to The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index.

Month-to-date, November was up 1.4% compared to November of last year, relative to a target of a 2.1% gain. Month-over-month showed a flat reading, relative to a target of a 0.7% gain.

Comps in the discount channel were up 2.8%, while same-store sales in the department store segment were flat.

Pre Thanksgiving week food, other staples and special promotions drew in customers, and many retailers rolled out holiday deals earlier than ever and will open Thanksgiving night to jump-start the weekend madness, noted Redbook analyst Catlin Levis.

"Some shoppers held off shopping and waited for the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday deep promotions," she continued. "In this trend-less environment, sales leaders during the week were focused on consumables such as food. For some formats, up to a quarter per dollar of sales may occur in the final week of the fiscal month, most notably on the day after Thanksgiving, so the trend of the month will not be clear until it is over."

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