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March same-store sales come in like a lamb  

Week ended 3/8 3/15 3/22 3/29 4/5 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* 0.6 0.6 0.9
Discounters 1.3 1.3 1.8
Redbook Index 1.0 1.0 1.4

New York – Merchandisers lagged goals in the first week of March, posting a 1.0% comparable-store sales gain, vs. the target of a 1.4% gain, the Johnson Redbook reported today.

Both discounters and department stores were behind trend. The five-week March retail month ends on April 5.

“Certain retailers said their business was hampered by snowstorms and heavy rainfall in many parts of the country, reducing traffic and suppressing demand for spring goods,” said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. “Many retailers simply noted that traffic was sparse and customers were reluctant to spend.”

She suggested that seasonal goods will pick up momentum as warmer weather and the Easter holiday draw near.

“Easter falls on the third week, earlier than it did last year, shifting holiday related business into March. To counter the calendar distortion, retailers suggest that the two months be averaged together for comparison purposes,” Levis reminded.

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