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Discounters Drive April Comps

New York — Building on robust Easter holiday sales, same-store retail sales picked up by 5.1% during the third week of April, the Johnson Redbook Index said. Measured on a month-over-month basis, sales were up by 4.4% from the third week of February, modestly ahead of a targeted gain of 4.2%.

For the three weeks month to date, sales climbed higher by 4.6%, somewhat ahead of the target of a 4.4% increase.

Discounters performed strongly with a 7.3% increase, down somewhat from the 7.9% increase reported the week before. Department store sales rose by 1.6%, and improved on a 1.4% increase the prior week.

Redbook analyst Catlin Levis said, “Sales for the week, which included the Easter Sunday, retained some of the momentum of the prior week. Stores relying on spring-driven apparel sales reported mixed results for the week, depending on their regional weighting. Top selling merchandise categories, showing a strong seasonal bias, were concentrated in spring apparel, home improvement, food and basic consumables.”

“Some retailers,” she said, “also noted rising energy prices that could drive up their operating expenses as well as curb consumers' discretionary spending, especially for middle- and lower-income households in the coming months.”

Johnson Redbook Index
Third week of April, year-over-year % change

Week ended 4/8 4/15 4/22 4/29 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* 0.5 1.4 1.6 1.1 1.7
Discounters 5.1 7.9 7.3 6.8 6.8
Redbook Average 3.3 5.3 5.1 4.6 4.4

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