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Redbook: Comps up 1.1% in final week of July

New York - Same-store sales rose 1.1% in the fourth and final week of July following a 1.3% gain the prior week, according to The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index.

Month-to-date, July was up 1.6% compared to July of last year, relative to a target of a 1.8% gain. Month-over-month showed a 1.4% drop, relative to a target of a 1.2% drop.

"As we close out the month and the second quarter, overall sales registered a slower pace in the fourth week as consumers continued to shun cool weather merchandise," said Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst.

Meanwhile, some retailers reported a strengthening sales toward the weekend, especially in apparel, which they attributed to the beginning of back-to-school demand, she added.

Mississippi was the first of 17 states to kick off a tax-free holiday this season, and stores there reported increased weekend traffic, said Levis.

Redbook's preliminary target for August is 1.7% same-store growth, leaving the month about 0.5% behind July. This target will be finalized in next week's report.

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