January Comps End Short of Goal
Gary Evans -- Furniture Today, February 10, 2008
Comparable store retail sales were up 0.2% in the week ending Saturday, Feb. 2, slowing from a 0.4% rise the week before, the Johnson Redbook reported.
Overall January comps rose 0.5% vs. the targeted gain of 1.1%. Both discounters and department stores fell well short of their goals, and month-over-month comps were down 0.4% from December vs. the goal of positive 0.1%.
Each successive week in January generated comps lower than the week before.
"Some companies indicated they were discounting more aggressively than originally intended," said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis, "and were offering zero percent financing promotional activities ahead of Super Bowl Sunday. The event also drove sales of snack foods, beverages and other related merchandise."
Levis reported, "Shoppers capitalized on early tax refunds and redeemed Christmas gift cards for items such as HDTVs and furniture." Perhaps this may serve as an early indicator of how consumers might use potential fresh funds from the emergency "economic stimulation" spending initiative now under consideration in the U.S. Senate.
Looking ahead, Levis noted, "February is a four-week month ending on March 1 and is the start of the fiscal year for most retailers. The month contains two major events, Valentine's Day and President's Day. Our preliminary target is for year-over-year same-store growth of 1.0%" for the month."
Most retailers were preparing to officially report January sales on Thursday, Feb. 7.
Johnson Redbook Index
Fourth week of January, year-over-year % change
|*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
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