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Comps still lagging a bit in the home stretch

New York – The 3.1% increase in comps disappointed in the fourth week of June following a 3.3% gain the prior week, as shopper activity slowed predictably at key channels, according to the Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index.

Month-to-date, June was up 3.3% compared to June of last year, relative to a target of a 3.8% gain. Month-over-month showed a 1.7% drop, compared to a target of a 1.3% drop.

June is a five-week month on the retail calendar, ending on July 5.

Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst, explained that both department and discount store formats turned in softer performance compared to the previous week. But, she added, this is a normal time of year for retailers to experience a seasonal lull.

“Some retailers said their seasonal inventory is slightly higher than they would prefer at this point in the cycle,” Levis continued. “However, they continue to expect sell-throughs during the hot weather as more customers buy according to immediate needs. As we are approaching the Fourth of July, many retailers already are marking down merchandise in orders to create traffic and lure customers.”

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