Redbook: US Retail Sales -1.6% First 3 Weeks July Vs June

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--National chain store sales fell 1.6% in the first three weeks of July versus the previous month, according to Redbook Research's latest indicator of national retail sales released Tuesday.

The latest numbers are starkly different from recent weeks because they don't include Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), which said last month it would no longer provide monthly sales figures.

The fall in the index was compared to a targeted 0.9% drop.

The Johnson Redbook Index also showed seasonally adjusted sales in the period were down 5.6% compared with July 2008, compared to a targeted 5% fall.

Redbook said that on an unadjusted basis, sales in the week ended Saturday were down 5.5% from the same week in 2008 after a 5.8% decline the prior week.

The firm added retailers continued to focus on clearing summer goods and bringing in back-to-school merchandise. Retailers in many states are gearing up for tax holidays beginning July 30 for back-to-school items, when retailers will likely extend hours and offer heavy promotions in an effort to lure consumers.

-By Kerry Grace Benn, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2353; kerry.grace@dowjones.com

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July 28, 2009 08:56 ET (12:56 GMT)


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