Same-Store Sales Finish February With a Bang

New York — Helped by unexpectedly strong holiday events and the launch of spring apparel, most notably at department stores, same-store retail sales were exceptionally strong during the fourth and final week of February, jumping 7.6 percent, the Johnson Redbook Index reported.

Getting a double shot of good news from Presidents' Day and Valentine's Day, and getting a further lift from new spring fashions, same-store sales jumped an impressive 8.4 percent at department stores, hugely improving on a modest 1 percent increase the preceding week.

Discounter comps moved up almost as high, rising 7.1 percent, following a strong 4.2 percent increase the week before.

The strong performance during the final week of February pushed sales for all of last month up 3.7 percent, well ahead of a targeted 2.3 percent increase.

“Retailers said sales in the final week of February held up better than expected and helped most to end the month above plan,” said Redbook Analyst Catlin Levis. “Department stores saw strong turnover in spring apparel and other seasonal goods.”

Business, said Levis, “was helped by sales and other promotional events built around Valentine's Day and Presidents' Day, as well as spring apparel launches.” And business might have been even stronger but for snowstorms that blanketed the Northeast, putting a damper on traffic.

Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index
Fourth week of February

WEEK ENDED 2/5 2/12 2/19 2/26 MONTH TARGET
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores.
Source: Johnson Redbook Index.
Department stores* 0.6 0.2 1.0 8.4 2.6 0.6
Discounters 3.5 3.2 4.2 7.1 4.5 3.4
Redbook Index 2.3 2.0 2.9 7.6 3.7 2.3

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