Retail sales ride Sept. roller coaster
September 23, 2002,
NEW YORK In a volatile week of seesaw retail activity that marked the first anniversary of terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, same-store retail sales during the second week of September improved by 2.0 percent over year-ago levels but were off slightly from the week before, according to the Redbook Retail Sales Average.
"Sales were mixed and volatile in the second week of September, showing sharp variations across the course of the week itself," said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. "Business tailed off sharply in the middle of the week, only to build up again into the weekend. The net result was not quite as strong as the first week of the month but sufficient to leave our model somewhat ahead of plan month-to-date."
Having some impact, said Levis, was the anniversary of last year's terrorist attacks. "Many stores delayed their openings in observance of Sept. 11. Customers, who were in a subdued mood, didn't shop much that day." The year before, by contrast, "people were stocking up on emergency, items such as candles, flashlights, fuels, bottled water and personal care products. Comparisons in these categories were tough over last year."
Leading merchandise categories for the week varied according to store specialty, said Levis, "but included home appliances, hardware, electronics and home goods. Regional patterns were mixed, but some retailers noted the Midwest and West were stronger than the rest of the country."
Redbook Retail Sales Average
Second week of September
|*Including chain stores and traditional department stores.
Source: Redbook Retail Sales Average, a unit of Instinet, a Reuters company.