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Sales pace slows in month’s opening week

New York – Same-store sales experienced a lull during first week of December, the Johnson Redbook reported today.

The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index rose 1.2% for the week ended Dec. 5 compared to December 2008. Month-over-month, comps fell 5.2%.

Retailers said the slow-down was typical of the first week of December, according to Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst. She added the slump “would likely be followed by an equally predictable stead buildup toward Hanukkah and Christmas.”

This year, Hanukkah begins Dec. 11, nine days earlier than last year. In addition, most retailers will have an extra pre-Christmas shopping day compared to last year, said Levis.

“Sales leader lists did not feature toy and gift categories as strongly as might be expected for this time of year, a possible indication of consumers deferring holiday shopping until the last minute,” she said.



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