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Comps slightly soft in September

New York - The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was up 4.1% in the fifth and final week of September following a 4.2% gain the previous week.

Month-to-date, September was up 4.4% compared to September of last year, relative to a target of a 4.6% gain. Month-over-month showed a 0.1% drop compared to August, relative to a target of a 0.1% gain.

Catlin Levis of Redbook Research noted, "Sales were somewhat slower for most stores in our model in the final week of September."

Consumables and other basics generally led business. Several stores said business improved up toward the end of the week as temperatures in parts of the country turned cooler, driving demand for fall apparel, said Levis.

Redbook's preliminary target for October based on retailers' plans is for 3.6% year-over-year increase, which equates to a month-over-month drop of 1.7%.

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