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Fourth Week Comps Better Than Expected

Cooling weather across much of the country helped comp store sales, which fell just 2.2% during the fourth week of September after a 2.6% drop a week earlier, the Johnson Redbook reported last week.

Compared to August, comps nudged up 0.4%.

"Several retailers suggested that the drop in temperatures this week may have provided the impetus they sought," said Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst. "With back-to-school programs now largely complete, most stores are reporting that business was better than expected, with clean sell-through."

Discounters' comps were nearly flat, down 0.4% compared to a targeted drop for the month of -1.2%.

"Discount stores held up better on their broader merchandise bases and did their best business in consumer staples, suggesting sales were driven by everyday domestic demand," said Levis.

Department stores improved from the previous week, with a 5.3% decline in comps following a 6.0% drop a week earlier.

Johnson Redbook Index
Fourth 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 -4.8 -6.0 -5.3 -5.4 -5.8
Discounters -0.7 -0.2 -0.6 -0.4 -0.5 -1.2
Redbook Index -2.4 -1.9 -2.6 -2.2 -2.3 -2.9

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