October comp goals in sight with Halloween boost  

Week ended 10/11 10/18 10/25 11/1 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* -6.5  -6.0 -6.7 -6.4 -6.2
Discounters 4.9 4.9  5.3 5.0 5.0
Redbook Index 0.5 0.8 0.7 0.7 0.7



New York – Retailers reaped some solace in these scary times, as overall comparable-store sales goals were achieved in the third week of October, the Johnson Redbook reported today.

However, the sensation was mainly discount store-based, with increased sales of candy and costumes pushing the volume – and lurking beyond Halloween is the expectation of a very heavy promotional season.

“The strength in sales of Halloween-related merchandise is becoming more brisk as we get closer to the end of the month,” said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. “Stores extended hours to accommodate more shoppers. Sales of costumes, candy and decorations exceeded expectations due to more in-store displays, deeper promotions and the calendar effect of Halloween falling on a Friday. More people will celebrate meaning that more costumes and party goods will be sold. Discounters were the main beneficiaries as value-conscious consumers still want to enjoy the holiday.”

Levis noted that retailers this year are not inclined to wait for November to start moving into the traditional fourth-quarter business: “Meanwhile, to get an early start to the holiday season, some stores already stocked shelves with Christmas merchandise along with Halloween items.”

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