Home-related goods got "spring fever" last week

New York - Same-store sales rose 3.0% year-over-year last week following a 4.1% gain the prior week, according to The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index.

Home improvement and outdoor merchandise "were reported to be showing signs of spring fever; and business in household basics as well as food and consumables were solid," said Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst.

Month-to-date, April was up 3.6% compared to April of last year, relative to a target of a 3.5% gain. Month-over-month showed a 0.2% gain compared to March, relative to a target of a 0.1% gain.

The earlier Easter this year impacted comparisons, said Levis. "Many stores were closed on Easter Sunday resulting in a comparison of six shopping days versus seven on a year-over-year basis, making for a difficult comparison," she said.

In addition, she said Midwest tornado outbreaks at the end of the week dampened demand for spring goods. Sales were disrupted unevenly on a regional basis, particularly affecting apparel-intensive stores compared with more diversified retailers.

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