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Johnson Redbook reports retail sales down

First  week of June year-over-year % change

Week ended 6/6 6/13 6/20 6/27 7/4 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* -6.8   -6.8 -6.3
Discounters -3.0   -3.0  -2.9
Redbook Index -4.4 -4.4 -4.2



New York -- The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was down 4.4% in the first week of June.

Month-to-date, the month declined 4.4% compared to June 2008, relative to a revised target of a 4.2% drop. And month-over-month was a 4.3% drop relative to May, compared to a targeted 4.1% drop.

June is a five-week month on the retail calendar ending on July 4.

“Business slowed as cooler weather took the edge off demand for seasonal merchandise,” the index said in a release. “With slightly less emphasis on seasonal buying, discount stores maintained consistent strength in food and household basics.”

Retailers also face “tough comparisons” from the Treasury stimulus checks, which inflated sales growth last year.

Father's Day sales growth comparisons are adversely affected by the calendar, which this year places the holiday in the fourth week of June compared to the third week last year. “This is expected to create a delayed effect where sales related to the event lag for one week and then catch up,” said Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst. “Not surprisingly, several retailers reported poor results in men's apparel.”

As a note, Wal-Mart is no longer included in this retail sample as of June when the discount department store announced it would no longer offer quarterly updates.

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