NEW YORK – Retail sales increased 2.5% in the week ended Feb. 4, according to the weekly retail sales report released by Johnson Redbook Tuesday.

Month-to-date, the index also showed a 2.5% gain compared to February 2011 (relative to a target of a 2.8% gain). The index rose 1.2% compared to January (relative to a target of a 1.5% gain).

“Most stores were tracking on or slightly below their monthly targets as the period ended. Like January, February is generally regarded as a transitional month, combining final clearance of winter merchandise with early introduction of spring goods,” according to the report. “Some retailers continue to clear pockets of winter goods at marked down prices, although this represented a less significant portion of their business. In addition, Super Bowl Sunday drew sales of big screen televisions, snack food, beverages, team apparel and other related merchandise leading up to the event.”

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