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Easter timing comparison helps April comps

 Fourth week of March, year-over-year % change

Week ended 4/11 4/18 4/25 5/2 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* -6.3   -6.3 -7.2
Discounters  5.4   5.4  4.9
Redbook Index 0.9 0.9 0.3

New York – With the benefit of a later Easter this year than last – and a glimmer of home improvement activity – retailers surpassed their same-store sales target for the first week of April, the Johnson Redbook reported today.

The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was up 0.9% for the week ended April 11, following a 0.4% gain the prior week. The four-week April retail month will end on May 2.

“Retailers benefited from year-over-year comparisons as a later Easter caused more sales volume in the week. The Easter effect was evident in specific holiday related categories, like candy and Easter theme toys as well as children's shoes and apparel as stores slashed prices,” said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. “Spring break and warmer weather helped the seasonal apparel business, especially women's apparel and footwear. Basic food and consumables also did well.”

Catlin noted, “Stores reported increased activity in home-related goods such as furniture as buyers geared up for spring home improvement.”