Johnson Redbook: Labor Day sales boosted comps

Retail Editor 1, September 13, 2011

New York -- The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was up 4.5% in the second week of September following a 4.9% gain the prior week.

Month-to-date sales in September increased 4.7% versus a year ago, relative to a target of a 4.6% gain. And month-over-month showed a slight 0.2% gain compared to August, relative to a target of a 0.1% increase.

Most retailers reported an "excellent Labor Day holiday," with better-than-expected sales growth on Sunday and Monday as the season approached its peak back-to-school selling period, according to Carlin Levis, Redbook analyst.

But business "tailed off sharply in the middle of the week, only to build-up again into the weekend. The net result was not quite as strong as the first week of the month, but was sufficient to leave our model ahead of plan month-to-date," said Levis

Most retailers reported positive results in all categories of back-to-school merchandise including apparel, although some discount stores saw back-to-school hard lines outperform soft-lines.


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