Comps up in December's week 4, but not as strong as retailers hoped
Home Textiles Today Staff -- Home Textiles Today, 12/26/2012 12:33:45 PM
New York - The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was up 2.9% in the fourth week of December following a 2.4% gain the prior week.
Month-to-date, December was up 2.4% compared to December of last year, relative to a target of a 2.6% gain. Month-over-month showed a flat reading, relative to a target of a 0.2% gain.
December is a five-week month on the retail calendar, ending on December 29th.
"Our model as a whole remained slightly below plan month to date for December," noted Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst. "The week was uneven, beginning on a soft note before firming into the weekend. Some retailers attributed the slow start to the fact that Christmas was two days later than last year. Retailers said most of the week's business was done on the Saturday before Christmas."
Retailers extended store hours and intensified promotional activity in hopes for a big last minute holiday shopping rush, she added. The primary focus during the fourth week was on holiday seasonal business, dominated by gift and holiday categories, including toys, electronics and jewelry. Food was also a big seller for certain discount stores. Retailers have now shifted their merchandising focus to post Christmas clearance.
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