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Same-Store Sales Stabilize

Retailers soldiered on in the second week of November, matching the month-to-date goal of a 2.3% comparable-store sales gain, the Johnson Redbook reported last week.

The month-over-month gain of 0.3% above October was also on plan.

The comp gain in the second week of this four-week retail month was slightly off the above-plan pace made in the first week, but "Veterans Day helped to lift traffic and sales" said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis.

Keeping a weather eye, Levis observed, "Customers are showing little interest in cold weather clothing as median temperatures were above average in many parts of the country. Retailers rely on seasonal demand to drive traffic through stores and generate activity in all categories of merchandise, so the lull in seasonal business affects the entire goods portfolio."

The retail month, set to end on Dec. 1, is the first in most merchants' fiscal fourth quarter, and pointing to the earlier Thanksgiving holiday, Levis said, "The month is expected to strengthen gradually. Notably, most retailers who follow NRF 4-5-4 calendar guidelines will shift seven more post-Thanksgiving shopping days into November, vs. two days last year. This will benefit retail November at the expense of December."

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

Week ended 11/10 11/17 11/24 12/01 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* 3.3 3.0 3.1 3.1
Discounters 1.8 1.7 1.8 1.8
Redbook Average 2.4 2.2 2.3 2.3


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