Hurricane disrupts same-store climb
By Staff -- Home Textiles Today, 9/29/2003 12:00:00 AM
NEW YORK —
Stymied by Hurricane Isabel, which stalled-out traffic at East Coast malls, same-store retail sales skipped a beat during the third week of September, edging up by 2.6 percent, off their much stronger pace of the past several weeks, according to the Redbook Retail Sales Average.
Feeling the brunt of the bad weather was the full-price department store channel, which had been making something of a comeback. Sales there were virtually flat during the third week, inching up just 0.2 percent, after gains of more than a full percentage point during the past several weeks, climbing back on track after months of steady declines.
Discount store sales, while not as strong as in prior weeks, still advanced by 4.1 percent as consumer stocked up on necessities.
Given the disruption, same-store sales for the three weeks month-to-date fell slightly beneath plan, coming in with a 3.2 percent increase, just shy of a targeted gain of 3.4 percent.
"Hurricane Isabel disrupted sales in the third week of September, but affected different retailers in different ways," said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. "Over one million homes and businesses were still without power and running water on Monday. The weather kept East Coast shoppers away from non-essential items, or forced stores to close and, in some cases, actually damaged stores, although the extent of the damage among the major retailers that comprise our model appeared to be limited."
Levis added, "However, the hurricane also helped certain retailers as customers made a run on … staples. Discount stores were the main beneficiaries, and some were on plan for the week. Most department stores were below plan, and reported that recovered over-the-weekend post-Isabel sales were slow when the weather cleared."
Redbook Retail Sales Average
Third week of September
|*Including chain stores and traditional department stores.
Source: Redbook Retail Sales Average, a unit of Instinet, a Reuters company.
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