June sales fall just shy of target

Don Hogsett, Jeff Linville, July 9, 2001

Sales at discounters and department stores slowed down somewhat during the fourth week of June, and fell below prior-month levels, but even so are close to plan for the entire month, according to the widely watched Redbook Retail sales Average. Home furnishings, significantly, were a major growth area.

Sales for the fourth week of June were 1.4 percent higher than June of last year, but fell 1.3 percent beneath May levels, compared to a target of a 1.2 percent decline.

"Both department and discount store formats were slower," said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. "With one more week to go in fiscal June, several of our survey companies reported that they are close to their sales plans for the month."

Holding true to recent form, said Levis, "The department store segment seems to be getting the worst of it, while discounters fared somewhat better to bring them to their second consecutive week above plan."

The Redbook analyst added, "Leading merchandise categories again included home furnishings, women's apparel, swimwear, footwear and health & beauty aids. Some retailers reported double-digit increases in food and consumables, while others noted that sporting goods and lawn and garden equipment sales were still lagging. Regionally, the Southeast was the best performer."

Redbook Retail Sales Average
Fourth Week of June

Week Ended 6/9 6/16 6/23 6/30 7/7 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores.
Source: Redbook Retail Sales Average, a unit of Instinet, a Reuters company.
Department Stores* -2.3 -2.0 -2.3 -2.5 -2.3 -2.1
Discounters 3.5 3.8 4.0 3.9 3.8 3.8
Redbook Average 1.2 1.6 1.5 1.4 1.4 1.5

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