Redbook: US Retail Sales -4.4% First 3 Weeks June Vs May

Redbook: US Retail Sales -4.4% First 3 Weeks June Vs May

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--National chain store sales fell 4.4% in the first three weeks of June 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 4.1% drop.

The Johnson Redbook Index also showed seasonally adjusted sales in the period were down 4.5% compared with June 2008, against a targeted 4.2% fall.

Redbook said that on an unadjusted basis, sales in the week ended Saturday were down 4.2% from a year ago after a 4.8% decline the prior week.

The group said sales for the week were helped by Father's Day promotions, and retailers said traffic picked up toward the end of the week approaching Father's Day. Men's apparel and other gift categories such as tools, grills and coolers were active.

Redbook said business is expected to be slightly better in the remainder of June because of warmer weather and the Independence Day holiday falling on a weekend.

-By Kerry E. Grace, Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-5089;

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 23, 2009 08:55 ET (12:55 GMT)

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