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Oct. same-store sales beat goal

NEW YORK — Same-store retail sales ticked up 3.2 percent during the fourth and final week of October, the Johnson Redbook Index reported, gaining steadily throughout the month and helping American retailers to come in ahead of plan for all of October.

For the entire month, same-store sales advanced 3 percent over year-before levels, besting a targeted gain of 2.7 percent.

After getting off to a weak start, department store sales ended on a strong note, rising 2.2 percent during the closing week of October, improving on a soft 1.4 percent increase during the first week. For the entire month, department store sales rose 1.8 percent, beating a targeted 1.4 percent gain.

Discounter sales increased 3.2 percent during the week, and for the entire month rose 2 percent, running ahead of a target of 2.7 percent.

"Our sample ended slightly ahead of plan in October, the final month of the retail quarter," said Redbook Analyst Catlin Levis. But after a soft September, it may not have been enough to pull out the third quarter. "We estimate that after September's weakness, the aggregate third quarter sales target was not met. Early indications are that fourth-quarter targets will be set lower due to high gas prices, rising heating bills and sluggish job growth dampening lower income customers' discretionary spending on upcoming holiday sales."

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