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Department stores KO discounters’ sales

NEW YORK — In an abrupt and stunning shift in consumer buying patterns during the crucial post-Thanksgiving shopping spree, shoppers flocked to full-price outlets and shunned the low-price, and often lower-quality, discounters during fourth week of November, the Johnson Redbook Index reported.

Helped by extensive promotions, department store same-store sales shot up 3.9 percent during the week ended Saturday, Nov. 27, extending a month-long winning streak. But sales at the nation's mass merchants skidded down 1.2 percent during the week.

Helped by the week's strong performance, department stores recorded a 3.6 percent increase for all of November, easily beating a target of 3.3 percent sales growth. But hampered by their poor performance during the Black Friday season, including the single-busiest shopping day of the year, discounters fell far short of their target, putting up a four-week gain of 2.5 percent, substantially beneath a target of 3.7 percent sales growth.

The weakness at discounters was reflected in the overall Johnson Redbook Index, which edged up just 0.9 percent during the final week of November, far off the 3.5 percent increase recorded the week before. And because of the big shortfall at the nation's mass merchants, overall same-store sales for the entire month came up short, rising 2.9 percent, compared with a target of 3.5 percent growth.

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