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April comps end shy of goal    

Week ended 4/12 4/19 4/26 5/3 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* 0.7 0.5 0.1 0.6 0.5 0.6
Discounters 2.8 2.5 2.1 1.9 2.3 2.5
Redbook Index 2.0 1.7 1.3 1.4 1.6 1.8

New York – Retailers finished the February-March-April quarter with a third straight below-goal gain in comparable-store sales, with the April comp gain of 1.6% coming in below the target of 1.8%, the Johnson Redbook reported today.

A promotion-driven upswing at department store comps in the fourth week of the retail month was not enough to meet that segment’s monthly goal, while discounters experienced a third consecutive week of slowing comps.

“The week's modest improvement was reflected mainly in department store business, due to improved demand for apparel and accessories driven by markdowns,” said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. “Some retailers confirmed that warmer weather was supporting sales of seasonal merchandise.”

May, a four-week retail month ending on May 31, contains two major shopping events, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. “Our initial target for May is for a year-over-year same-store sales gain of 1.7%, which generates a month-over-month comparison of a 1.8% gain,” Levis said.

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