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Same-store sales: Retailers Edge Up on February Comp Goal

Still in negative comp-store sales territory, retailers last week nonetheless edged further ahead of their February target, the Johnson Redbook reported.

For the second week of February, the Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was down 1.4%, following a 1.7% drop the prior week; this yielded a month-to-date comp drop of 1.6%, ahead of the 1.9% negative comp goal.

"Sales during the week were influenced by spring promotions, Valentine's Day and the Presidents Day weekend. Sales were event-driven, with department stores reporting relative strength in women's apparel, women's accessories and cosmetics," said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. "Certain discounters reported that sales in last minute Valentine's Day items such as flowers and candy were brisk and said the resulting increase in customer counts drove traffic in categories not directly related to the event, including consumable basics and seasonal apparel."

Levis observed, "Warmer temperatures in parts of the country may have helped to boost early sales of spring merchandise, adding a seasonal component to the week."

The four-week February retail month, first month of the 2009 fiscal year for most retailers, will end on Saturday, Feb. 28.

WEEK ENDED 2/7 2/14 2/21 2/28 MONTH TARGET
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* -9.0 -8.4 -8.7 -8.8
Discounters 2.7 2.9 2.8 2.2
Redbook Average -1.7 -1.4 -1.6 -1.9


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