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Redbook: Sales soften for second week in a row

Third week of May year-over-year % change

Week ended 5/9 5/16 5/23 5/30 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* -6.9  -7.7 -8.2 -7.7 -7.1
Discounters  4.8 4.3  4.1 4.4  4.6
Redbook Index 0.3 -0.3 -0.5 -0.2 0.2

New York -- Although sales picked up as the Memorial Day weekend got underway, same-store sales for the week ended May 23 fell off from the prior week, the Johnson Redbook reported today.

The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was down 0.5% in the third week of May following a 0.3% drop the prior week. Month-over-month, comps dropped 0.4%. Redbook's target was a 0.1% decline. 

“Sales performance was mixed. The flood damage in areas such as Daytona Beach, Florida, suppressed volume in seasonal business of both hard-lines and soft-lines, including outdoor goods, home improvement, spring goods and apparel,” said Catlin Levis, Rebook analyst.

Department stores once again lost ground, with comps declining 8.2% following a 7.7% decrease during the second week of May. Discounters posted comps in the positive territory -- up 4.1% -- but that was still off the pace of sales gains made in the first two weeks of the month.

“Discount stores maintained consistent strength in household staples. Sales results improved as we approached the Memorial Day long weekend as promotional and competitive pricing helped with sales of fans, summer wear, pool supplies and food,” said Levis.

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