Home leads retail sales rebound

Helped by strong sales of home goods, same-store retail sales picked up by 2.6 percent over year-ago levels during the second week of July, a marked improvement over a slender 1.5 percent increase the previous week, according to the Redbook Retail Sales Average, a key barometer of sales activity across the nation.

But even with the lift, month-to-date sales were still short of their target, moving up by 2.1 percent, shy of a targeted gain of 2.4 percent, stuck in the summer doldrums and hampered by consumer apathy in the wake of a falling stock market and mounting corporate bad news.

Discounter same-store sales were up by 4.8 percent over year-before levels during the first two weeks of July, well short of a targeted increase of 5.6 percent. But department store same-store sales, while still trending down, did modestly better than expected. Sales at the full-price retailers dipped by 2.6 percent, not quite as far as an expected drop of 2.9 percent for the two-week period.

Measured against June results, sales for the two-week period were flat, compared with a forecast increase of 0.3 percent.

"Sales were mixed, with some companies in our model slightly below plan for the week although most remain on target month-to-date or at least within planned range," said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. "Retailers are experiencing a lull in activity as June's weather-driven surge in seasonal sales winds down and before back-to-school shopping takes over."

Levis said, "The tail off in summer business was evident last week as the return on nonseasonable stalwarts such as home goods and consumer nondurables went to the top of sales leader lists."

Breaking out results on a regional basis, Levis said "sales growth was strongest for the Midwest followed by the Northeast and Southeast.

Redbook Retail Sales Average
Second week of July

Week ended 7/13 7/20 7/27 8/3 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores.
Source: Redbook Retail Sales Average, a unit of Instinet, a Reuters company.
Department Stores* -3.3 -1.9 -2.6 -2.9
Discounters 4.4 5.3 4.8 5.6
Redbook Average 1.5 2.6 2.1 2.4

Home & Textiles Today Staff | News & Commentary

 Home Textiles Today is the market-leading brand covering the home and textiles markets, offering a comprehensive package of print and online products. Home & Textiles Today provides industry news, product trends and introductions, exclusive industry research, consumer data, store operations solutions, trade show news and much more.

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