WASHINGTON (MNI) – The following is the text of the weekly retail
sales report released by Johnson Redbook Wednesday, for the
month-to-date through the week-ended November 17:

The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was up 1.8% in the third
week of November following a 1.6% gain the prior week. Month-to-date,
November was up 1.4% compared to November of last year (relative to a
target of a 2.1% gain). Month-over-month showed a flat reading (relative
to a target of a 0.7% gain). November is a four-week month on the retail
calendar ending on November 24th.

Pre Thanksgiving week food, other staples and special promotions
drew in customers. In order to jump-start sales many retailers rolled
out holiday deals earlier than ever and will open Thanksgiving night to
jump-start the weekend madness. Some shoppers held off shopping and
waited for the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday deep promotions.
In this trend less environment, sales leaders during the week were
focused on consumables such as food. For some formats, up to a quarter
per dollar of sales may occur in the final week of the fiscal month,
most notably on the day after Thanksgiving, so the trend of the month
will not be clear until it is over.

** MNI Washington Bureau (202) 371-2121 **