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Weekly comps benefit from spring purchases

New York - Consumers have begun spending on spring merchandise, lifting same-store sales 2.6% during the fourth week of March, according to the Johnson Redbook.
Discounter comps ran slightly ahead of plan with a 2.2% gain, while department stores fell just below plan with a 3.4% rise, said Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst.
"Students on spring break during this period also helped to give sales and traffic an extra boost," she added. "In the coming weeks retailers are hoping that extra cash from income tax refunds will spark sales while some worried about continuing rising oil prices stalling consumer spending."
Comparisons for the final week of March on the retail calendar, which concludes April 2, are expected to be tough since last year the week benefited from pre-Easter Sunday shopping.


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