Bogged Down in Basics

A reluctance by consumers to spend on non-essential goods kept same-store sales below targets for both discounters and department stores in the second week of June, the Johnson Redbook reported.

"Seasonal and fashion merchandise in general underperformed basic goods," said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis, as retailers showed a 2.3% comp gain for the week, for a month-to-date gain of 2.2%, tracking well short of the target of 2.8% for the five-week month.

"Month-over-month was 0.9% below May, compared to a target of a 0.3% drop," Levis said, noting, "Sales for the week were helped by Father's Day promotions as shoppers used part of their stimulus check to pay for Father's Day gifts. Retailers said traffic picked up toward the end of the week as Father's Day approached."

As parts of the United States were shaking off near-record heat, Iowa and the nation's midsection took a savage hit from floods. "Retailers said weather fluctuations were a factor as heavy floods disrupted business across the Midwest," Levis said. "Discount stores did best in food and household goods."

Johnson Redbook Index
Second week of June, year-over-year % change

Week ended 6/14 6/21 6/28 7/5 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* -3.0 -2.7 -2.9 -2.4
Discounters 5.2 5.3 5.2 5.9
Redbook Average 2.1 2.3 2.2 2.8

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See the May 2017 issue of Home & Textiles Today. In this issue, we discuss our annual Market Basket survey, which finds higher prices and more polyester at leading retailers. See details!