NEW YORK – Retail sales at discount, chain and department stores rose in the four retail weeks of January, but the pace of sales slipped in the latest week as the onset of cold weather kept consumers away from department stores, two reports said Tuesday.
The Redbook Retail Sales Average rose 3.9 percent in the four retail weeks of January compared with December 2001. Year-over-year sales in the week ended Feb. 2 rose 1.3 percent, while month-to-date sales compared to January 2001 grew 1.5 percent.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi (BTM) and UBS Warburg reported that U.S. chain store sales fell 0.7 percent during the week ended Feb. 2, after a 0.2 percent rise in the prior week.
"Weather concerns dominated the mid-to-late week's sales picture," the BTM report said.
Compared with the same week last year, the BTM index grew by 2.8 percent, below the prior week's 3.4 percent year-over-year gain.
The BTM/UBSW Weekly Chain Store Sales Snapshot is compiled from seven major discount, department and chain stores across the country that report their weekly results.
Those stores include J.C. Penney, Sears, Target, Kmart, Wal-Mart, Federated Department Stores Inc. and May Department Stores Co. The BTM/UBSW index measures sales growth with the year 1977 equaling 100.
The Redbook Retail Sales Average is a sales-weighted average of annual growth in same-store sales at discount, department and chain stores that report their results on a weekly basis. The average is compiled from a sample of general merchandise retailers representing about 9,000 stores. Same store sales measure revenues at stores open at least a year.
"Overall, the month's turnout was in-line with plan," Redbook said in its report.
The Redbook Average is released weekly by Instinet Research, a division of Instinet, a Reuters-owned electronic brokerage.
Reuters contributed to this report.