Same-Store Sales Off To Slow Start

New York — Hobbled by spotty weather throughout parts of the country, and hurt by high gas prices, same-store retail sales remained weak and beneath expectations for a second straight week, the Johnson Redbook Index reported.

Same-store sales inched up just 1.5 percent during the second week of April, softening further from a modest percent increase the preceding week. And for the two weeks month-to-date, sales rose just 1.6 percent, missing a target of 1.9 percent growth.

Surprisingly, both discounters and department stores both grew their sales at the same pace during the first two weeks of the month — by 1.7 percent during the opener, and by 1.5 percent during the second week.

“Sales continued to be softer than expected in the second week of April,” commented Redbook Analyst Catlin Levis. “Performance deteriorated somewhat from the first week, which had itself been disappointing. The slowdown left many retailers off-plan or at the low end of targeted ranges month-to-date.”

Levis added, “Stormy weather at the beginning of the week curtailed business in seasonal merchandise, especially apparel, mostly in parts of the South and Midwest regions. In the Northeast, by contrast, where temperatures were normal, seasonal apparel did well.”

Johnson Redbook Index
Second week of April

Week ended 4/9 4/16 4/23 4/30 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores.
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* 1.7 1.5 1.6 2.1
Discounters 1.7 1.5 1.6 1.8
Redbook Average 1.7 1.5 1.6 1.9

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