January comp store sales ahead of plan

NEW YORK -- Helped by warmer weather and steep post-holiday markdowns, same-store retail sales jumped up by 4.1% over year-ago levels during the fourth and closing week of January, pushing comp sales for the entire month up 3.5%, solidly ahead of plan, the Johnson Redbook Index reported today.

Department stores finished the entire month up 2.0%, coming in ahead of a target of 1.6%, while discounter comps were up 4.4%, beating a targeted gain of 4.0%.

"Retailers in our model closed the month and, for most, the fiscal year, on a firm note, with results in the final week generally on or better than plan" said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. The Redbook preliminary target for February is for year-over-year same-store sales growth of 3.2%, or 0.3% ahead of January.

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