Early May Comps Lag Plan

New York — Even though sales of seasonal goods got a lift from warmer weather, same-store retail sales came in modestly beneath plan during the first week of May, possibly hurt by a one-week shift in the Mother's Day holiday, the Johnson Redbook Index reported.

Same-store sales moved up by 3.2% over the year-before level, but missed a targeted gain of 3.5%, said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. Sales for the week were 2.9% beneath April for the same week, falling off even more than an expected 2.6% decline.

“Some stores reported an uptick in sales of seasonal goods as warmer temperatures moved in across the country, while others reported slower sales after April's strong finish,” said Levis. “Our model ended the week below plan, possibly reflecting a difficult year-ago comparison. The one-week shift in Mother's Day had a depressing effect on year-over-year growth rates. The event falls a week later this year than last, complicating comparisons in the first week.”

The analyst said, “Some Mother's Day buying was apparent in expected categories such as accessories, jewelry, small appliances and cosmetics. However, merchants anticipate the full effect of the event to occur” during the second week of May. ”

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

Week ended 5/6 5/13 5/20 5/27 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* 2.8 2.8 3.1
Discounters 3.4 3.4 3.8
Redbook Average 3.2 3.2 3.5


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