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May Same-Store Sales Below Target

Same-store sales fell slightly below target in May, the Johnson Redbook reported last week.

The Johnson Redbook Index for the month was down 0.1% vs. a target of a 0.2% increase. Both department stores and discounters missed the mark in May. Department store comps declined 7.6% when Redbook had expected a 7.1% decline. Discounters posted a 4.4% gain, just below the 4.6% Redbook had forecast.

In the final week of the month, the Redbook Index increased 0.1% following a 0.5% drop the week before. Department stores improved their week-over-week performance, logging a 7.3% decline after an 8.2% slide a week earlier. Discounter comps were flat compared to the previous week, again gaining 4.1%.

"Sales were lifted by warm Memorial Day holiday traffic," said Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst.

Grocery drove much of the business at discount, she said. Department stores saw their strongest same-store sales activity in merchandise related to school graduation, such as women's wear, men's wear, footwear and women's accessories.

"Our preliminary plan for June is for year-over-year growth of 0.2% leading to a month-over-month change against of May of 0.3%," said Levis.

The target will be finalized in this week's report. Retail June is a five-week month ending on July 4th. The month contains two shopping events: Father's Day and Independence Day.

Johnson Redbook Index
Fourth week of May, year-over-year % change

WEEK ENDED 5/9 5/16 5/23 5/30 MONTH TARGET
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* -6.9 -7.7 -8.2 -7.3 -7.6 -7.1
Discounters 4.8 4.3 4.1 4.1 4.4 4.6
Redbook Index 0.3 -0.3 -0.5. 0.1 -0.1 0.2

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