Retail strong, departments beat discounters
By Staff -- Home Textiles Today, 3/26/2004 12:00:00 AM
NEW YORK —
Led by an unexpectedly strong performance of the nation's full-price department stores, same-store retail sales jumped 6.3 percent during the third week of March, The Redbook Average reported.
Department store sales ran up 6.5 percent, improving on a 4.2 percent increase during the previous week. Remarkably, department stores recorded a sharper gain than discounters, where sales advanced by 6.1 percent, the first time in recent memory that full-price retailers grew their sales at a faster pace than mass merchants.
"Spring seasonal business was firm, especially women's apparel and accessories, identified by retailers at the upper and middle of the price spectrum as a key sales driver for the week," said Redbook Analyst Catlin Levis. "Sales momentum also showed in private brands."
The week was also helped by a favorable year-over-year comparison — during the same week a year ago, shoppers were glued to TV screens as the United States attacked Iraq.
Redbook Retail Sales Average
Second week of March
|*Including chain stores and traditional department stores.
Source: Redbook Research Inc.
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