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A Later Easter Makes for Softer March Comps

NEW YORK - Same-store sales were below plan during the first week of March - a month whose comparisons will be heavily impacted by Easter moving into April this year, according to the Johnson Redbook.
     "The first week of March was the smallest week in expected sales volume, and therefore unrepresentative, making it too early to determine the trend of the month as a whole," said Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst.
     Comps for the week ended March 5 rose 2.0%, with comps up 4.8% at department stores and just 0.7% at discounters.
     Retailers saw better movement in apparel during the week, said Levis, with soft lines driving the business at department stores.

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

WEEK ENDED

3/5

3/12

3/19

3/26

4/2

MONTH

TARGET

Department stores*

4.8

    

4.8

5.2

Discounters

0.7

    

0.7

1.3

Redbook Index

2.0

    

2.0

2.5

*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index

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