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Redbook: Comps slackened last week

New York — After picking up steam and building momentum through the first three weeks of June, same-store retail sales cooled off somewhat during the fourth week of the month, improving by 1.0 percent, but far off the stronger pace of 1.8 percent growth the week before, the Redbook Retail Sales Average reported.

For the four weeks month-to-date, sales had risen by 1.4 percent from year-before levels, slightly behind targeted growth of 1.5 percent.

"Despite an improvement in seasonal merchandise classifications as warm weather rolled in, overall sales activity was toward the low end of plan for many of our surveyed stores," said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis.

Breaking results out by category, Levis said, "Retailers reported weakness in merchandise markets such as men's wear and jewelry, while discounters reported more emphasis on food, hardware, household basics and consumables."

Running true to form, discounters outperformed their full-price department store rivals. Discounter sales grew by 2.7 percent during the week, while department stores declined by 1.7 percent.

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