Comps held steady in September's fourth week

Retail Editor 5, Gary Evans, September 27, 2011

New York -- The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was up 4.2% in the fourth week of September following a 4.1% gain the previous week.
Retailers reported another week of mixed results, noted Caitlin Levis of Redbook Research.
"Business continued to lack strong themes with pockets of relative strength combining with weakness," she said. "Discount stores as a group managed to hold steady on the week, supported by basics such as household supplies and food, due in part to anticipation for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Department stores, however, continued their falling trend."
Some retailers are starting to display Christmas and Halloween merchandise side by side as well as re-launching layaway programs, allowing shoppers to reserve an item in order to get a head start to the holiday shopping season, she noted.
Month-to-date, September was up 4.4% compared to September 2010, relative to a target of a 4.6% gain. Month-over-month showed a 0.1% drop compared to August, relative to a target of a 0.1% gain.
September is a five-week month on the retail calendar, ending on October 1st.

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