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1993 CHRISTMAS SHOPPING SEASON TO BE A WINNER: RETAILING ANALYST ED JOHNSON FORECASTS UP TO 8.5 PERCENT INCREASE

 NEW YORK, July 27 /PRNewswire/ -- This year's Christmas shopping season will see gains in retail sales volume of "6.5 to 8.5 percent, with a bias towards the upper end of this range," according to a forecast issued today by Ed Johnson, director of the Johnson Redbook service, a division of the brokerage firm Lynch, Jones & Ryan, Inc.
 Mr. Johnson was ahead of the pack last year, when he went out on a limb in July to predict a retailing turnaround for the '92 season. He was one of the first to foresee the bullish trend.
 The 1993 Christmas shopping season, he said, "won't be a barn burner like last year, when sales were up 9.5 percent over the previous year, but it will be a good Christmas and certainly better than 1991's dismal results."
 Mr. Johnson's forecast is based on more than 30 years of experience in tracking consumer spending trends: Current sales levels, he said, are following a pattern seen in 10 of the last 14 years, with Christmas sales volume expected to rise 2 to 4 percent over June levels.
 Other reasons for the upbeat forecast are meteorologists' predictions for cold winters for the next two to four years which will spur apparel buying; growth in real consumer income in the second half of the year and the fact that the "Clinton Effect" -- consumer hesitancy until current tax proposals are resolved -- will be settled in advance of holiday time.
 As in previous years, discount chains will be the big winners in any spurt in retail sales volume. Mr. Johnson expects them to control 58 percent of the market for apparel and soft goods by year-end. J.C. Penney and Sears are expected to gain market share, with May and Federated leading the department-store group.
 One of the better-known analysts covering retailing and related industries, Mr. Johnson has been publishing the Johnson Redbook on the retailing industry for more than 30 years. The report's weekly retail sales report is a de facto leading indicator of economic activity nationwide. It has also been cited by The Wall Street Journal as the "hottest" economic forecasting tool for bond traders because "consumer spending accounts for about one-third of the nation's economic activity."
 Lynch, Jones & Ryan, founded in 1966, is a securities brokerage firm well known for its agency trading abilities. The firm transactions equity and fixed-income trades for more than 1,400 institutional money management clients around the world and is a pioneer in providing independent research services to institutional investors, currently offering more than 400 research and measurement products to its clients. In addition, the firm's Plan Sponsor Services division is the largest provider of commission recapture programs, with over 525 corporate, public and Taft-Hartley clients.
 -0- 7/27/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Ed Johnson should be identified as the retailing industry analyst of Lynch, Jones & Ryan, Inc.
 The Johnson Redbook should be identified as a division of Lynch, Jones & Ryan, Inc./
 /CONTACT: David Kogut of Nestor Group, 212-888-6115, for Lynch, Jones & Ryan, Inc./


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TS-OS -- NY040 -- 6385 07/27/93 16:01 EDT
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Date:Jul 27, 1993
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