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March Comps Disappoint

NEW YORK - Easter sales turned out to be softer than expected, giving the month of March a 2.9% year-over-year comp increase, missing The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index's target of 3.3%.
     Comps were up 2.5% in the fifth and final week of March following a 3.5% gain the prior week.
     Redbook analyst Catlin Levis said the growth rate for March "reflects an upward bias from the earlier placement of Easter this year; April is expected to show a corresponding downward bias."
     Redbook's preliminary target for April is for year-over-year same-store growth of 2.7%, which would result in a month-over-month performance against March of a 2.0% drop.

Johnson Redbook Index

Fifth week of March, year-over-year % change

WEEK ENDED

3/9

  3/16

  3/23 

  3/30

    4/6

MONTH

TARGET

Department stores*

1.6

1.7

1.3

2.1

0.8

1.5

2.1

Discounters

3.3

3.6

3.3

4.3

3.3

3.5

4.0

Redbook Index

2.7

2.9

2.6

3.5

2.5

2.9

3.3

*Including chain stores and traditional department stores

Source: Johnson Redbook Index

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