Retailers See Pre-Thanksgiving Slowness

New York — Retail sales came in below plan last week, rising 3.6 percent compared with a 4.1 percent targeted gain.

Month-to-date, November is closer to plan with a 3.8 percent gain.

“Retailers said the week was mixed, with performance mostly ranging from on-plan to slightly below plan. The week ended on a stronger note than it began,” stated Redbook Analyst Catlin Levis.

Sales of seasonal apparel picked up as temperatures fell, especially in the eastern part of the country, she added, noting that business remains very competitive and promotional. Retailers, Levis stated, began promotions earlier to draw customers. On a regional basis, sales were strongest in the South, Redbook found.

“The final week of November, and especially the two shopping days following the Nov. 24 Thanksgiving holiday, should be essential in determining the season ahead,” she stated.

Johnson Redbook Index
Third week of November

Week ended 11/5 11/12 11/19 11/26 month target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores.
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* 3.4 2.7 3.0 3.0 3.3
Discounters 4.8 4.0 4.1 4.3 4.6
Redbook Average 4.2 3.5 3.6 3.8 4.1

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