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Same-store sales heat up in June

Same-store retail sales firmed up modestly during the fourth week of June as high temperatures helped to draw consumers into stores to buy air conditioners, fans and warm weather apparel, according to the Redbook Retail Sales Average.

In good news for home textiles, home furnishings were also high on shoppers' wish lists, as they have been since late last year, said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis.

The Redbook Average scored a gain of 3.0 percent for the fourth week of June, a slight pick-up from the 2.9 percent increase the prior week.

Measured on a month-to-date basis, June is running ahead of plan at 3.3 percent above last year's sales level, compared with a target of 3.0 percent. So far, June is running about 1.8 percent ahead of May, compared with a target of 1.5 percent.

Levis said, "The modest pick-up was attributed to the summer heat, which in turn promoted customer traffic for air conditioners, fans, pool and beach equipment as well as warm weather apparel. More than ever, customers are buying according to immediate needs."

With one more week to go in fiscal June, said Levis, "several of our survey companies, mostly discounters, reported that they are close to or above their sales plans for the month. Leading merchandise categories included consumables, basic apparel, hardware, lawn and garden equipment and some hot-weather items such as air conditioners."

Home furnishings were also at the top of shopping lists, said Levis. "Consumers continue to renovate and refurbish their houses, keeping home furnishings, appliances and furniture high on sales-leader lists."

Northeastern states did particularly well during the fourth week of June, Levis reported. "As for the past few weeks, many retailers have rushed Back-to-School shipments into ports in anticipation of a possible dock strike."

Redbook Retail Sales Average
Fourth week of June

Week ended 6/9 6/15 6/22 6/29 7/6 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores.
Source: Redbook Retail Sales Average, a unit of Instinet, a Reuters company.
Department Stores* -0.6 -2.0 -1.7 -2.8 -1.8 -0.9
Discounters 6.6 6.6 5.7 6.6 6.4 5.4
Redbook Average 3.9 3.3 2.9 3.0 3.3 3.0

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