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September Comps Helped by BTS, Labor Day

Getting a boost in the run-up to Labor Day, same-store sales during the first week of September were slightly better (up 0.2%) than August, the Johnson Redbook reported last week.

Comps for the week ended Sept. 5 declined 2.4% compared to September 2008. Discounters got closer to positive comp territory with a 0.7% comp decline. The strongest categories were children's clothing, shoes and lower-margin back-to-school supplies on the general merchandise side as well as food, according to Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst.

Department stores continue to struggle, recording a 5.3% drop.

"Some retailers are nearing the end of their back-to-school calendar, while others expect its impetus to last through the month, reflecting in sales of children's clothing and school supplies," said Levis.

Johnson Redbook Index
First week of September, year-over-year % change

WEEK ENDED 9/5 9/12 9/19 9/26 10/3 MONTH TARGET
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* -5.3 -5.3 -5.8
Discounters -0.7 -0.7 -1.2
Redbook Index -2.4 -2.4 -2.9

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