Same-stores continue ascent
By Staff -- Home Textiles Today, 9/1/2003 12:00:00 AM
NEW YORK —
Buoyed by unexpectedly strong sales at the nation's discounters and a better than expected Back-to-School season, same-store sales continued their climb during the third week of August, the Redbook Retail Sales Average reported, advancing by 4.1 percent and improving on a 3.5 percent increase the week before.
For the three weeks month-to-date, sales have climbed by 3.5 percent, easily topping a target of a 3.0 percent gain. Sales for the three-week period are now up by 1.0 percent over July, besting a targeted gain of 0.5 percent.
Most of the growth was concentrated with the nation's giant mass merchants, where sales jumped up by 4.1 percent, a big jump over the prior week's 3.3 percent increase. Mass merchant sales for the three weeks of August are now up by 3.5 percent, ahead of a target of 3.0 percent.
Even full-price department stores, whose sales have mostly declined throughout most of this year, remained in positive territory with a 0.8 percent increase. On a month-to-date basis, sales of department stores have improved by 0.9 percent, just shy of a target of a 1.0 percent increase.
"Sales growth continued above plan for most key retailers in the third week," reported Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. "The week saw the best performance so far this month for the Average. Our discount store group was more than a percent ahead of the previous week. Given the dominant weighting of the discount stores in our model, it was their out-performance that was primarily responsible for the week's overall improvement."
Levis said, "The firmer discount store results were partly due to merchandise rollouts and large-scale store openings at one retailer. Back-to-School activity appears to be better than expected so far, although its impact will be easier to assess next month. Sales of men's apparel were very active."
Breaking out results on a regional basis, Levis said, "The Northeast performed better than the rest of the country."
Redbook Retail Sales Average
Third week of August
|*Including chain stores and traditional department stores.
Source: Redbook Retail Sales Average, a unit of Instinet, a Reuters company.
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