April Comps Running Shy of Goal

Retail comparable-store sales continued to lag plan, as comps were up 0.2% in the third week of April, following a 0.2% drop the prior week, the Johnson Redbook reported. Month-to-date, April was up 0.1% compared to April of last year, relative to a target of a 0.5% gain.

April is a four-week retail month, ending on May 5.

Both discounters and department store operators fell short of projections. The mass merchants saw comps down 1.3%, bringing their month-to-date drop to 1.4%, below the target of a drop of 1.1%.

The upstairs channel managed a 2.7% comp rise for the week, but April to date for the segment is 2.4%, below the goal of 3.0%.

"The week just past was the last in which the Easter distortion will occur, allowing retailers a clearer view of their underlying business," said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis, noting that warm and sunny weather in most parts of the country meant that "seasonal business regained some momentum. Lawn and garden, sporting goods and spring apparel were reported to be showing signs of spring fever."

Johnson Redbook Index
Third week of April, year-over-year % change

Week ended 4/14 4/21 4/28 5/5 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* 2.4 2.0 2.7 2.4 3.0
Discounters -1.2 -1.6 -1.3 -1.4 -1.1
Redbook Average 0.2 -0.2 0.2 0.1 0.5

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