Chain Store Sales Up Modestly in October

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U.S. retail sales at discount, chain and department stores grew only modestly during the four retail weeks of October as retailers reported weak apparel and Halloween sales, Instinet Research said on Tuesday in its weekly Redbook Retail Sales Average.

The Redbook Retail Sales Average rose a meager 0.8 percent in the retail month ended Nov. 3 compared with the same period one month earlier. Month-over-month sales rose 1.0 percent in the previous weekly report.

On a year-over-year basis, the index inched 0.7 percent higher, following a 0.1 percent gain in the preceding week.

``Certain retailers reported Halloween-related business was down from last year's levels. Retailers said that the demand for apparel, which drove business in the second week, had flattened,'' Redbook said.

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.