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May Comps Make Goals

Same-store sales closed out the four-week retail month of May with a convincing 2.0% rise last week, to end with a 1.8% gain for the month, just beating the target of 1.7%, the Johnson Redbook reported.

May comps were 1.9% over April, in line with that goal.

Department stores were ahead of plan throughout May, and finished with a comp gain of 0.9%, beating the 0.7% target. Discounters rallied just enough to meet plan. In neither channel was home textiles a major positive factor.

"The week was supported by the Memorial Day holiday, which left its imprint in strong sales of food," said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. "Grocery divisions led business at most discount stores."

"Department stores did report activity in merchandise related to school graduation such as women's wear, men's wear, footwear and women's accessories," she added.

"Looking forward," said Levis, "our preliminary plan for June is for year-over-year growth of 0.9% leading to a monthly change against May of -2.1%. This target will be finalized in next week's report. Retail June is a five-week month ending on July 5. The month contains two shopping events, Father's Day and Independence Day."

Johnson Redbook Index
Fourth week of May, year-over-year % change

Week ended 5/10 5/17 5/24 5/31 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* 1.0 0.7 0.9 1.0 0.9 0.7
Discounters 2.6 2.2 2.3 2.6 2.4 2.4
Redbook Average 2.0 1.6 1.7 2.0 1.8 1.7


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