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Same-store sales stable in mid-December     

Week ended 12/8 12/15 12/22 12/29  1/5  Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* -0.9 1.4 -1.2 -1.5
Discounters 3.4 3.3 3.4 3.3
Redbook Index 1.6 1.3 1.4 1.2

New York – Retail sales held steady in the second of five weeks in the December retail calendar, the Johnson Redbook reported today.

With a same store-sales gain of 1.3% following a 1.6% gain the prior week, month-to-date comps are up 1.4% relative to a target of a 1.2% gain. Month-over-month was 0.6% below November, ahead of a targeted 0.8% drop).

“Sales were hurt by an ice storm in the Midwest offset by the improved cold weather sales during the week,” said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis, who also noted the “trend of online shopping and popularity of gift cards for presents, the majority of which are purchased during the week before Christmas (gift card sales don't record the sales revenue until the cards are used) a trend retailers say is growing over time.”

Levis observed, “With one more weekend before Christmas some stores intensified promotional activity beyond originally scheduled levels and announced extending operating hours to lure procrastinating shoppers. The most positive development was a pick-up in seasonal business as falling temperatures stimulated sales of winter apparel and other cold weather items.”

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