Chain Store Sales on the Rise

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Retail chain store sales rose during the fifth and final retail week of June, spurred by strong sales of drugs, with most retailers matching their sales targets for the week, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and UBS Warburg said Tuesday.

U.S. chain store sales rose 0.6 percent during the week ended July 7 after climbing 0.3 percent the previous week, the two firms reported in their Weekly Chain Store Sales Snapshot.

The sales index rose to 400.7 from 398.4 a week earlier. On a year-over-year basis the index rose for a fifth consecutive week, by 2.2 percent in the latest period after a 1.8 percent rise a week ago.

Despite the r back sales targets for later in the year. Last week Federated Department Stores slashed its second quarter earnings and full-year profit outlook due to weaker sales.

The main reason for the slowdown in sales is a drop in customer turnout, BTM said. According to the RCT National Retail Traffic Index, customer traffic fell for a 10th straight week compared with the same period a year ago.

BTM said it expects an increase of 2.0 to 2.5 percent for the entire month of June, compared with 1.5 percent growth in May, according to the report. Most retailers will report their June results on Thursday.

The BTM/UBSW Weekly Chain Store Sales Snapshot is compiled from seven major discount, department and chain stores across the country which report their weekly results. Those stores include JC 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.