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November comp sales miss the mark  

Week ended 11/8 11/15 11/22 11/29 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* -8.3  -8.1 -8.8 -7.7 -8.2 -8.0
Discounters 3.7 3.8  3.3 4.4 3.8 4.4
Redbook Index -1.0 -0.9 -1.4 -0.4 -0.9 -0.5



New York – Although Thanksgiving week comp sales came in above expectations, they couldn’t make up for softness in the preceding weeks of November, the Johnson Redbook reported today.

The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was down 0.4% in the final week (ended Nov. 29) of the month following a 1.4% drop the prior week.

“The day immediately following the holiday, so-called Black Friday, was the busiest, but the momentum did not follow through to Saturday and Sunday,” said Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst.

For the full month, comps declined 0.9%. Redbook had expected full-month comps to decline by 0.5%.

Department stores continued to struggled, with comps for Thanksgiving tumbling 7.7% for a full-month decline of 8.2%. Redbook earlier projected department store comps would fall 8.0% in November.

While discounters turned in their strongest week of comp performances for the month, up 4.4%, the full month comp gain of 3.8% trailed the sector’s anticipated 4.4% gain.

Winning merchandise categories for the week included apparel and accessories, especially cashmere sweaters, coats and gloves, as well as sharply priced laptops, CPS, consumer electronics, games and digital cameras.

“Some reported that shoppers were hesitant to buy gift cards, concerned that stores could go out of business,” Levis said.

Redbook is estimating a December comp decline of 0.4% versus last year and flat versus November, although the target is still being finalized.

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