Sales under plan last week

NEW YORK — Held in check by winter storms and lower prices at seasonal clearance sales, same-store retail sales came in under plan during the third week of January, rising 2.8 percent, but losing ground from a stronger 3.3 percent increase the prior week, the Johnson Redbook Index reported.

Department store sales were hardest hit, coming in flat with the prior-year level, weakening from a 1.5 percent increase the week before. Discounter sales increased 4.5 percent, improving slightly on the 4.4 percent increase rung up the week before.

"Sales were mixed to softer in the third week, and our model pulled back from the on-plan position the previous week," said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis.

The analyst commented, "The weekly sales-leader list indicated a shift away from clearance categories toward more everyday items. At discount stores, food such as beverages and meat, were the week's top sellers. Regionally, the East was one of the stronger regions in the week.

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