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Johnson Redbook up in first week of January

New York -- The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was up 2.8% in the first week of January and for the month to date, compared to January 2010, relative to a revised target of a 2.6% gain.

However, month-over-month results showed a 0.5% drop compared to December, relative to a target of a 0.7% drop.

January is a four-week month on the retail calendar ending on January 29th.

The Johnson Redbook said consumers continue to redeem gift cards in the post-Christmas season. Cold weather across the country drove consumers into stores for cold weather clothing. Outerwear and other seasonal clothing ranked high on sales leader lists. Retailers at department stores said consumers were motivated by prices as January clearance sales got under way.

"Some discounters reported that consumption had reverted to more normal patterns, with a focus on basic commodities and food," Johnson Redbook added. "Clearance is the key theme in January, with most retailers planning to bring in new Valentine's Day and spring merchandise from about the middle of the month."

In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. day on Jan. 17, Johnson Redbook noted it will release its scheduled Jan. 18 report on Jan. 19.

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