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Same-store sales slow in second week

With many stores closed for Easter — and hurt by bad weather and a shift in the calendar which put Easter a week earlier this year — same-store retail sales climbed at a slower pace during the second week of April, rising 4.8 percent, compared with 5.4 percent the week before.

Department stores and discounters turned in a disappointing performance, missing sales targets, according to the Johnson Redbook Index. Department store sales increased 3.8 percent, behind their 4 percent increase the week before. Sales at the nation's mass merchants increased 5.5 percent, off their 6.2 percent increase the previous week.

Measured on a month-over-month basis, overall same-store sales during the second week of April were 2.2 percent behind February levels, coming in shy of a Redbook target of a 1.8 percent decline.

"The week's performance lagged the pace of week one and left many retailers off plan or at the low end of planned range in our model," said Redbook Analyst Catlin Levis. "The slower performance reflected the closing on Easter Sunday as retailers were up against last year's pre-Easter shopping week, making for a difficult comparison."

Weighing performance by merchandise category, Levis said, "Home improvement and outdoor merchandise were reported to be showing signs of spring fever, and business in household basics, food and other consumables was solid."

Redbook Retail Sales Average
Second week of April

Week ended 4/10 4/17 4/24 5/1 Month Target
Department stores* 4.0 3.8 3.9 4.1
Discounters 6.2 5.5 5.8 6.3
Redbook Average 5.4 4.8 5.1 5.4
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores.
Source: Johnson Redbook Retail sales Index.

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