Redbook: US Retail Sales -1.7% First Week July Vs June

Redbook: US Retail Sales -1.7% First Week July Vs June

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--U.S. national chain store sales fell 1.7% in the first week 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 5.7% compared with July 2008, which compares to a targeted 5% decline.

Redbook said on an unadjusted basis, sales in the week ended Saturday were down 5.7% from the same week in 2008 after a 4.3% decline the prior week.

The firm said sales trailed off on Sunday after July 4th. Higher-priced department stores contributed to most of the weakness because of their heavy dependence on apparel sales, it said. July's focus continues to be on clearing seasonal stock.

-By Kerry Grace Benn, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2353;

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 14, 2009 08:55 ET (12:55 GMT)

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