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May comps off to a steady start

First week of May year-over-year % change

Week ended 5/9 5/16 5/23 5/30 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* -6.9   -6.9 -7.1
Discounters  4.8   4.8  4.6
Redbook Index 0.3 0.3 0.2

New York -- Same-store sales rose 0.3% during the first week of May following a 0.3% gain the prior week, the Johnson Rebook Retail Sales Index reported today.

Discounters had a robust first week, with comps up 4.8% handily besting a 2.6% gain in the first week of May 2008. Department stores posted another tough week, with comps sliding 6.9%; in the same period last year, department store comps rose 1.0%.

 “Warm weather has helped stores move horticultural products, apparel and other seasonal items,” said Catlin Levis, Rebook analyst.

 “Discounters also reported steady business in food. Trade in Mother' day items like flowers, cosmetics, accessories, jewelry and small appliances, while brisk, did not necessarily boost the annual growth rate since the event occurred at the same time last year,” she said.

Month-over-month was a 0.1% gain relative to April (compared to a targeted 0.1% drop).

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