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Same-store sales make the grade

Though hampered somewhat by cooler weather, which chilled some sales of seasonal apparel, same-store retail sales nudged up slightly ahead of plan during the first week of June, the Johnson Redbook Index reported.

Same-store sales advanced 5.2 percent over their year-ago level, besting a target of 5.1 percent growth, with both full-price department stores and mass merchants topping their targets.

Department stores, still gaining on the strength of improved fashion assortments in seasonal apparel, grew 3.3 percent, compared with a target of 3.2 percent. Mass merchants rose 6.4 percent, coming in ahead of a planned 6.3 percent.

Measured on a month-over-month basis, sales came in 0.7 percent above May, compared with a target of 0.6 percent.

"Business was steady in the earlier part of the week but slowed toward the end as cooler weather took the edge off demand for seasonal merchandise," said Redbook Analyst Catlin Levis. "Sales growth comparisons were also adversely affected by the calendar, as consumers put off shopping for Father's Day, which falls in the fourth week of June this year, versus the third week last year."

Retailers, Levis noted, "are currently indicating that inventories are satisfactory, making it less likely that they will need to incur costly markdowns to clear overstocking. Sales-leader lists were mixed for the week. Some stores reported solid business in food, sporting goods, lawn and garden equipment and household basics."

Breaking results out on a regional basis, retailers said sales were strongest in the Northeast.

Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index
First week of June

Week ended 6/5 6/12 6/19 6/26 Month Target
Department stores* 3.3 3.3 3.2
Discounters 6.4 6.4 6.3
Redbook Average 5.2 5.2 5.1
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores.
Source: Johnson Redbook Index


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