Valentine's shopping wasn't a flop but it didn't get any help from very heavy weather in the Northeast and South during the February 15 week. Redbook's same-store year-on-year rate did improve 4 tenths in the week to plus 3.2 percent but the 4-week average is dead flat for a third straight week at 3.0 percent and down from a 3.9 percent peak in the first part of January. Redbook's month-to-month comparison shows a sizable 1.2 percent decline so far for February against January. Weather, again, is the story behind weakness in retail.
A weekly measure of comparable store sales at chain stores, discounters, and department stores. It is a less consistent indicator of retail sales than the weekly ICSC-Goldman index. It is also calculated differently than other indicators. For instance, figures for the first week of the month are compared with the average for the entire previous month. When two weeks are available, then these are compared with the average for the previous month, and so on through the month. It might be more useful to compare year-over-year figures since these are indeed compared to the comparable week a year ago. This index is correlated with the general merchandise portion of retail sales covering about 10 percent of total retail sales.
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