Solid results for same-store sales

Maintaining their recent upward momentum, same-store retail sales jumped up by 5.1 percent during the first week of March, once again beating expectations for both mass merchants and department stores, The Redbook Average reported.

Sales at department stores continued to rebound from last year's depressed levels, rising by 3.7 percent and beating a planned 3.6 percent increase. Mass merchants as well exceeded expectations, pushing sales up by 6 percent, ahead of a planned 5.8 percent rise.

"Sales were slightly better than plan in the first week, with four weeks left to run," said Redbook Analyst Catlin Levis.

"Some retailers noted that the first week of March was the smallest week in expected sales volume, and therefore unrepresentative, making it too early to determine the trend of the month as a whole," she said. "However, most merchants indicated that the steady pace of business which characterized February had persisted into March, as had the relative strength in the Northeast and Midwest."

"Discounters noticed a pickup in apparel, including men's, women's and footwear," Levis commented.

Redbook Retail Sales Average
First week of March

Week ended 3/6 3/13 3/20 3/27 4/3 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores.
Source: Redbook Research Inc.
Department stores* 3.7 3.7 3.6
Discounters 6.0 6.0 5.8
Redbook Average 5.1 5.1 5.0


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