Retail sales gain as warmer weather returns
Retail sales warmed up a bit, along with temperatures, in some parts of the country.
The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was up 3.1% in the third week of March following a 2.8% gain the prior week. Month-to-date, March was up 2.8% compared to March of last year, relative to a target of a 2.9% gain. Month-over-month showed a 0.4% drop, relative to a target of a 0.3% drop. March is a five-week month on the retail calendar ending April 5th.
A number of retailers reported a pickup in business over the week due to warmer temperatures in parts of the country and St. Patrick's Day celebrations as well as shoppers who cashed in their tax refund checks. March 20 was the first day of spring and sales of lawn and garden goods did well; sales of spring apparel, especially swimwear, have also been brisk as people prepare for spring break. Meanwhile, comparisons related to the Easter shift will become tougher next week as stores begin to go up against last years' pre-Easter shopping week.
Source: Home & Textiles Today