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September same-store sales skid   

Johnson Redbook Index
New York – After a convincing Labor Day launch, the September comparable-store sales surge is in retreat, the Johnson Redbook reported today.

The third week of this five-week retail month saw a 1.6% gain in the Redbook Index, a clear drop-off from the previous week’s 2.4% gain.

Month-to-date, September comps are up 2.2% vs. the 2.6% goal, and are running at 0.5% above August, vs. the 0.8% plan.

“Explaining the weakness, many retailers noted customer traffic fell off during the week and the weekend was disappointing. Soft goods sales were hurt by the warm weather and comparisons with cool weather which induced sales last year,” said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. “Others said they were comparing unfavorable sales to strong year-ago comps.”

The analyst had no silver lining statement looking ahead, noting, “Retailers failed to see the sales pick-up they had expected on the seasonal shift from summer to fall merchandise and were not anticipating conditions to improve significantly in the immediate future.”

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