Same-store sales continue soft 

New York – October same-store sales continue to play out softly, up just 1.9% in the third week (ended Oct. 27), following a 2.1% gain the week prior, the Johnson Redbook reported today.

Month-to-date comps were up 2.2% against a 2.3% target, and were 0.3% below September, vs. a targeted 0.2% drop.

“The performance was in part negatively impacted by the southern California wildfire,” said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis, who added, “In the Midwest, shoppers responded to more seasonal weather and started to purchase for current needs.”

Discounters, with a month-to-date 2.6% comp climb, are outpacing department stores, which have shown a 1.6% rise in comps through three weeks.

“Some department stores said sales growth was being driven by clearance, rather than by full price goods as business had been delayed by prolonged summer-like weather,” noted Levis.

Halloween is playing a strong role in the retail month, which will end on Saturday, Nov. 3. “Sales of costumes, candy and decorations are exceeding expectations. The increase was due to earlier availability of Halloween products, warmer weather, more in-store displays and better promotions,” said Levis, who said of the retail calendar, “This year's Halloween falls six days earlier than last year, a timing shift that could push some Halloween business into October from November.”

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