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Sales slackened in April’s second week

 Second week of April, year-over-year % change

Week ended 4/11 4/18 4/25 5/2 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* -6.3  -7.5 -7.0 -7.2
Discounters  5.4 4.8   5.1  4.9
Redbook Index 0.9 0.1 0.5 0.3



New York – With most stores dark on Easter Sunday, a shortened selling week resulted in a sales slowdown that left many retailers off plan during the second week of April, the Johnson Redbook reported today.

The Johnson Redbook Sales Index was up 0.1% for the week ended April 18 after pre-Easter sales pushed the index to a 0.9% gain the previous week. Month-to-date, April was up 0.5% compared to April 2008, which record a 0.3% gain.

Month-over-month, the index saw a 1.5% gain.

Discounters posted an aggregate 4.8% gain vs. 5.4% the previous week. Department stores slipped further, their comps dropping 7.5% compared to a decline of 6.3% in the first week of the month.

In addition to a shorter selling period, the week brought cooler weather and spring snow storms from parts of Colorado to parts of Wyoming that shifted consumer focus away from seasonal goods toward basics, according to Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst.

Since Easter shifted into April this year from March in 2008, “retailers recommend withholding judgment on the season until the end of this month when March and April can be assessed as a single accounting unit,” said Levis.

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