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Same-store sales lagging goals in January  

New York – Same store retail sales sagged further in the second week of January, with the month-to-date gain of 0.8% trailing the targeted rise of 1.1%, the Johnson Redbook reported today.

Comps for the second week were up 0.7% following a rise of 0.9% in the first week. Both upstairs and downstairs merchants lagged behind their goals at mid-month.

“Year-end clearances dominated sales activity and soft goods outperformed hard goods,” said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. “Among volume leaders, some stores reported increased business in cold weather apparel in response to lower temperatures.”

“Sales leader lists were mixed in the second week, driven by store specials and inventory management, as is typical in a transitional environment,” she remarked. “Consumer basics, clearance apparel and electronics were all featured. Retailers prepared to move in spring merchandise this month, sooner than usual, as Easter falls two weeks earlier this year.”

Levis concluded, “Retailers are very cautious by keeping their inventories tight for spring and summer until they see evidence the economy is growing again.”

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