Clearance of winter inventories keeps comps up at end of January
February 4, 2014,
New York - As clearance winter goods moved out to make way for new seasonal merchandise, comps rose 2.7% in the fourth and final week of January following a 3.2% gain the prior week, according to the Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index.
Month-to-date, January was up 3.0% compared to January of last year, relative to a target of a 3.4% gain. Month-over-month showed a 0.2% drop, relative to a target of a 0.2% gain.
"Discount stores, which are less dependent on markdown cycles than department stores, have shown steadier results over the course of the week," she noted. "Meanwhile, food sales got a lift from Super Bowl Sunday."
Looking ahead, February is a four-week month on the retail calendar, ending on March 1st and is the start of the fiscal year for most retailers. The month contains two major events: Valentines' Day and President's Day.
"Our preliminary target is for 3.0% same-store sales growth in February," Levis added. "This generates a month-over-month change versus January of a 1.3% drop."
This target may be revised in next week's report, she summed.