Weather, slow Mom's day hit sales
By Staff -- Home Textiles Today, 5/19/2003 12:00:00 AM
NEW YORK —
Severe storms around the nation, including tornadoes and floods in much of the Midwest and heavy rain throughout the South, discouraged shoppers during the first of May, holding same-store sales in check during the first week of May — up a skimpy 0.7 percent, compared to a stronger 2.2 percent gain the preceding week, the Redbook Retail Sales Average reported.
And reversing expectations and past performance, department store sales came in modestly ahead of plan during the week, while discounters lagged behind. Same-store sales in the full-price retail channel dipped by 0.4 percent, modestly better than the forecast decline of 0.7 percent. But sales in the giant mass merchant chains missed their target, advancing by 1.3 percent, somewhat behind a goal of 1.8 percent.
Checked by sever winter and a soft Mother's Day event, "Sales were moderately below plan in the first week," said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. "Seasonal business was mixed among stores, with tornadoes, floods and severe weather in the Midwest as well as heavy rainfall in the South forcing people to flee their homes and businesses."
As if that wasn't enough, Mother's Day business was muted. "Some cited Mother's Day sales as below plan," said Levis. " Others claimed that sales of Mother's Day items such as cosmetics, accessories and jewelry, while brisk, did not necessarily boost their annual growth rate. The higher traffic levels did, however, have demand effects across other merchandise sectors, driving demand for basic consumables, electronics, pharmacy items and food at discount stores."
Breaking business out on a regional basis, "retailers said sales were strongest in the Northeast," the analyst reported.
Redbook Retail Sales Average
First week of May
|*Including chain stores and traditional department stores.
Source: Redbook Retail Sales Average, a unit of Instinet, a Reuters company.
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