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Johnson Redbook Index Reflects Sluggish US Same-Store Sales

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Same-store sales continue to be dull

Johnson Redbook Index data indicated a 1% rise in same-store sales on a year-over-year basis in the week ended July 25, 2015. Same-store sales grew 1.2% in the previous week. This is the 11th consecutive week the index has been below 2%. The Johnson Redbook Index rose by 0.1% in the first three weeks of July from the same period of the previous month.

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Johnson Redbook Index

The Johnson Redbook Index is prepared by Redbook Research. It tracks retailers across the following six categories:

  • apparel specialty
  • department
  • discount
  • furniture
  • drug
  • miscellaneous

According to Redbook Research, certain retailers attributed sluggish same-store sales to hot weather in some places. Others blamed unmotivated consumers. Retailers continued to clear their summer merchandise in the past week.

Retailers in 17 states are now looking forward to tax holidays. Many consumers rush to stores on tax holidays to make purchases at lower prices. Retailers are also gearing up for the crucial back-to-school season, which is the second-biggest shopping season.

Retail Economist-Goldman Sachs Index

Retail Economist and Goldman Sachs compile the Retail Economist-Goldman Sachs Weekly Retail Chain Store Sales Index. The latest release for the week ended July 25, 2015, indicated a 2.2% rise in same-store sales compared to the corresponding week last year. However, same-store sales fell by 0.2% in the week compared to the prior week.

Implications for department stores

Subdued US same-store sales are not a favorable indicator for department stores. In the first quarter of fiscal 2015 that ended May 2, 2015, Macy’s (M) reported a 0.7% fall in same-store sales. Macy’s makes up ~1.0% of the portfolio holdings of the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLY). Nordstrom (JWN), Kohl’s (KSS), and JCPenney (JCP) reported same-store sales growth of 4.4%, 1.4%, and 3.4%, respectively, in the first quarter of fiscal 2015 that ended May 2, 2015.

For more updates, visit our Department Stores page.

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