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Comps get off to strong start as holiday shopping embarks

RedbookNew York - Buoyed by the Veteran's Day holiday, comps increased 3.5% in the last week following a 3.3% gain the prior week, according to the Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index.

Month-to-date, November was up 3.4% compared to November of last year, relative to a target of a 4.1% gain. Month-over-month showed a 0.7% drop, relative to a flat target.

"Veterans Day promotions helped to lift traffic and sales at the beginning of the week," noted Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst. "Most retailers indicated that they were satisfied with the progression of this closely watched month, which is expected to strengthen gradually into the Thanksgiving weekend."

She noted many retailers are already out of the gate with holiday promotions and several plan to open their doors on Thanksgiving since this year there are six few shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Levis added that for some formats, up to 25% of sales may occur in the final week of the fiscal month, "notably on the day before Thanksgiving and the two days that follow it, so the trend of the month will not be clear until it is over."


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