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February Second-Week Retail Volume on Target

New York — Same-store retail sales softened during the second week of February, rising by 3.0% and lagging behind a 3.3% gain the prior week, but hit the target for the two weeks month-to-date, the Johnson Redbook reported. Sales for the first two weeks of February rose by 3.2%, beating a targeted gain of 3.1%. On a month-over-month basis, sales for the period rose by 0.3% above January levels, compared with the target of a 0.2% increase.

Redbook's Catlin Levis said that discounters reported strong sales of traditional Valentine's Day items such as candy. She noted, “The resulting increase in customer counts drove traffic for categories not directly related to the event.”

Stores, the analyst said, “also reported moderate continuing activity in winter clearance merchandise, although as a small percentage of overall inventories. Sales were partly driven by fashion accessories, selected women's apparel, jewelry and cosmetics.”

Looking ahead to sales reports due for the third week of February, analyst Levis cautioned that the weather would without a doubt become a topic of conversation, as some store operators had already cautioned that results for the week will be hurt by a record snowstorm in the Northeast.

Johnson Redbook Index
Second week of February, year-over-year % change

Week ended 2/4 2/11 2/18 2/25 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* 1.7 1.5 1.6 1.6
Discounters 4.4 4.1 4.2 4.2
Redbook Average 3.3 3.0 3.2 3.1


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