Same-store sales still below plan
Jeff Linville -- Furniture Today, May 27, 2002
Same-store retail sales perked up modestly during the second week of May, according to the Redbook Retail Sales Average but still remained somewhat muted and under plan through the first two weeks of the month, hampered by unseasonably cool weather.
Sales were up by 2.1 percent over the prior month during the second week of May, following a 1.7 percent gain during the first week. But even so, retail sales came in somewhat beneath expectations for the two weeks month-to-date, with an overall increase of 1.9 percent falling shy of the target of 2.4 percent.
Department stores continued to underperform, as they have for more than a year, sales declining by 2.1 percent during the week. For the two-week period, department store sales were off by 1.9 percent vs. an expected 1.5 percent drop.
Discounters, while performing well, still came up short. Sales for the second week of May rose by 4.8 percent, improving over a 4.0 percent increase the prior week. But for the two weeks month-to-date, the discounters' overall increase of 4.4 percent was shy of the targeted increase of 5.0 percent.
"Sales performance in the second week was overall modestly higher than the previous week but was more widely dispersed than usual, making trends difficult to read," said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. "Temperatures were noticeably cooler and heavy rain in many parts of the country curbed summer business for lawn and garden equipment, sporting goods and apparel."
Discounters, said Levis, "and to a lesser extent, department stores, have been particularly affected, since this type of merchandise represents a large portion of their business."
Looking at what was selling, Levis said, "Some Mothers' Day buying was apparent in expected categories such as fine jewelry, flowers, cards and small appliances. Elsewhere, sales of consumer basics, pharmacy items and toys were firm."
Looking at results on a regional basis, Levis said the West and Midwest recorded the strongest sales gains.
Redbook Retail Sales Average
Second 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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