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Halloween gives comps a lift

RedbookNew York - Last-minute Halloween shopping boosted comps by 3.8% in the fourth and final week of October following a 3.6% gain in the prior week, according to the Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index.

The month of October was up 3.4% compared to October of last year, relative to a target of a 3.6% gain. Month-over-month showed a 1.2% drop, relative to a target of a 1.0% drop.

Sales of Halloween merchandise boosted both customer traffic and sales, noted Redbook analyst Catlin Levis.

"Stores were reporting improved sales, which were also supported by cooler weather," she continued. "Our sample ended slightly below plan in October, the final month of the retail quarter."

Retailers are already beginning to ramp up their holiday efforts. November is a four-week month ending on the retail calendar, ending Nov. 30. Promotional events include Hanukah and Thanksgiving.

"The main shopping event, Thanksgiving, falls in the final week of the month, as it did last year; therefore, there should not be any calendar distortion," Levis added. "Our preliminary target for November is 3.7% year-over-year same store growth, generating a month-to-month comparison, November versus October, of a 0.4% drop."



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