The FINANCIAL — National chain-store sales rose 0.3% in the first three weeks of August from the comparable period in July, according to Redbook Research’s latest indicator, released on August 25.
The index’s increase compared with a target for growth of 0.2%, according to Nasdaq.
The Johnson Redbook Sales Index also showed seasonally adjusted sales for the period improved 1.7% from a year earlier, compared with a target for an increase of 1.6%.
During the third week of August, sales also rose 1.7% from a year earlier.
Redbook said that cooler weather in many parts of the U.S. may have helped sales of back-to-school and fall seasonal apparel but may also have suppressed activity in late summer hard-lines such as air conditioners and outdoor and sporting equipment.
According to Redbook, people are positioning their purchases closer to the time of actual need. Retailers noted a lot of customers waiting until school starts and otherwise not purchasing things until they absolutely must, Redbook said. Some retailers think that Labor Day coming later this year may be delaying back-to-school purchases.