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Clearance, cold weather pair up to drive up comps in January's second week


New York - Driven by strong sales of soft goods coupled with post-holiday clearance sales, comps rose by 3.1% in the second week of January following a 2.9% 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.

Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst, said winter outerwear and accessories got a boost from the cold weather.

"Discount stores returned to more normal operations following the holiday, driven by food and consumer basics," she continued. "Department stores are working through year-end clearance of winter inventories with their usual aggressive pricing in order to make room for Valentine's Day and spring merchandise. At the same time, retailers are not reading too much into January since it is typically a transitional month with low volume business driven by price markdowns."

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