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Redbook on target with same-store sales up 2.7%

NEW YORK — According to the widely watched Redbook Retail Sales Average, same-store sales rose by 2.7 percent over year-ago levels during the third retail week of April, dead on target with plan — a big improvement over recent months, when sales fell far short of the target.

Sales moved up by 0.9 percent over March, just shy of a targeted gain of 1.0 percent, according to the index, which tracks same-store sales for retailers across the nation.

For the three weeks month-to-date, sales are exactly on their target of a 2.7 percent increase.

So far this month, broadline stores sales edged up by 0.2 percent vs. a target of 0.1 percent. And discounters remained strong, with sales up by 3.8 percent, compared with a target of 3.9 percent.

"Sales were below plan or at the low end of planned ranges for most retailers in our model during the third week of April," said Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst. "Business was not quite as firm as it had been in the opening week of April. The slower performance was probably due to the Easter shift, rather than poor fundamentals. Retailers were up against last year's pre-Easter shopping week, making for a difficult comparison.

"With Easter out of the way and warm weather in most of the country," she continued, "seasonal apparel and hardlines, along with home-related business, maintained their category lead, but retailers noted that demand was broad-based and included basic household goods and consumables."

On a regional basis, "the Northeast states, where spring weather generally prevailed, were said to be the most active business environment in the country. With one week to go, April is expected to close slightly below plan."

Redbook Retail Sales Average
Third Week of April

Week Ended 4/14 4/21 4/28 Month Target
*Broadline retailers, including department stores and chains.
Source: Redbook Retail Sales Average, a unit of Instinet, a Reuters company.
Broadline* -0.3 0.2 0.0 0.2 0.1
Discounters 4.4 3.9 3.1 3.8 3.9
Redbook Average 3.1 2.7 2.1 2.7 2.7

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