Retail sales gain momentum
October 16, 2002,
New York — With sales momentum gaining as consumers picked up the pace of their spending over the past two weeks, same-store retail sales did something of an about face during the first week of October, rising above year-ago and month-before levels and beating plan across the board.
The Redbook Retail Sales Average reported that same-store sales inched up by 0.4 percent above last October's results, modestly ahead of a revised target of a 0.2 percent increase. And sales improved by a full 1.0 percent over a weak start to September, besting a forecast gain of 0.6 percent.
Importantly, both department stores and discounters alike performed ahead of plan, as consumers jump-started spending after weeks of shunning the malls. Sales at the nation's mass merchants improved by 3.0 percent over 2001 levels, beating a planned increase of 2.6 percent, the Redbook reported. And department sales, while still weak, beat their target as well, with a 3.6 percent decline during the week coming in somewhat ahead of a forecast drop of 3.9 percent.
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