Retailers rally with December comps
January 3, 2007,
New York-- Same-store retail sales delivered an 11th-hour surge during the fifth and final week of December, climbing by 3.2% and putting mostU.S.retailers on or slightly ahead of plan during the closing week of the year, the Johnson Redbook Index reported.
Gaining steadily throughout the month, department-store sales surged by 4.8% during the closing week, improving on a 4.5% increase the week before in the run-up to the holiday.
Sales in the final week of December rose by 2.0% at mass merchants, besting a 1.7% increase the prior week.
In a striking reversal of last year's shopping patterns, department stores significantly outperformed mass merchants during December 2006. In 2005, discounters came out on top with a 3.8% increase, and department stores lagged with a 3.0% gain. But this year, upstairs comps rose almost three times as fast as downstairs, 4.5% vs. 1.8%.
The comp-store gain for December 2006 still lagged behind last year's results. For the entire month, same-store sales rose by 2.8% in 2006, well behind the 3.4% increase put up a year ago.
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