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June Comps in Slow Start

With Memorial Day weekend offset from last year, retailers were hard-pressed to keep up with modest comparable-store sales goals, and comps were up 1.7% for the first week of June, against the target of 1.9%, the Johnson Redbook Index reported.

Month-over-month comp sales were 1.0% below May, compared to a targeted 0.8% drop.

Department stores in particular missed the target, registering just a 0.7% rise vs. the 1.0% target, while discount chains came closer with comps up 2.4% against the 2.5% goal.

Redbook analyst Catlin Levis noted, "Certain retailers reported strength in merchandise related to school graduation such as womenswear, menswear, footwear, and women's accessories."

Levis said, "June represents the peak of seasonal business before traditional July clearance sales and therefore is a crucial month to most retailers. Weather will be key in terms of allowing stores to make up sales before margin-cutting clearance time."

June is a five-week retail month ending on July 1; the first week ended June 9.

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

Week ended 6/9 6/16 6/23 6/30 7/1 MONTH TARGET
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* 0.7 0.7 1.0
Discounters 2.4 2.4 2.5
Redbook Index 1.7 1.7 1.9


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