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Comps fairly steady last week

Redbook January 14New York - Shoppers last week continued to cash in the gift cards they received during the holidays, helping to lift same-store sales 2.9% on a year-over-year basis, according to the Johnson Retail Sales Index.
In a month largely dominated by clearance sales, seasonal buying was strongest in apparel and electronics, according to Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst.
"Some discounters reported that consumption had reverted to more normal patterns with a focus on basic commodities and foods," she added.
Margins are still feeling the pinch of all the holiday promotional activity, she said. While retailers are already starting to rollout Valentine's Day merchandise ahead of the Feb. 15 holiday, most plan to start working on their full spring sets by mid-January.

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