WASHINGTON (MNI) – The following is the text of the weekly retail
sales report released by Johnson Redbook Tuesday, for the month-to-date
through the week-ended October 6:

The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was up 1.6% in the first
week of October. Month-to-date, October was up 1.6% compared to October
of last year (relative to a revised target of a 1.9% gain).
Month-over-month showed a 1.7% drop (relative to a target of a 1.4%
drop). October is a four-week month on the retail calendar, ending on
October 27th.

Sales were mixed in the first week of October, on to modestly below
plan at most stores. The week started slowly with below average customer
counts, partly due to more people watching the election debates than
shopping, but improved towards the weekend due to the upcoming Columbus
Day promotions and temperatures falling to more fall like levels in many
parts of the country. October is the final month of the third quarter
for most retailers and it is an important period for retailers to meet
quarterly sales and earning targets. The month includes the buildup to
Halloween, which falls two days later this year than last, a timing
shift that could push some holiday business into retail November and out
of the October reporting period.

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