By  on August 11, 2008

The retail community is weighing whether to report September comparable-store sales as planned on Oct. 9 because it would conflict with Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.

Some retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp., have opted to report September results on Oct. 8, when Yom Kippur begins at sundown.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association, a trade group, said its members had “embraced” the date change.

“Out of respect for the holy day and the millions of Americans who observe it, RILA members have begun to make proper adjustments to their reporting schedules,” said Casey Chroust, senior vice president for retail operations.

A RILA spokesman said members who do report monthly comps on the standard 4-5-4 quarterly calendar are adjusting their reporting dates. These include Wal-Mart and Target as well as J.C. Penney Co. Inc. and Abercrombie & Fitch Co.

Carleen Kohut, chief financial officer of the National Retail Federation, said some other retailers were also contemplating an earlier release.

“We’re working with our members to provide them information to make them aware of issues so they can make the most informed decision for their operation,” Kohut said. “For some, accelerating the release would be a burden. They’ve got to weigh the issue of landing on a holiday.”

From the perspective of the financial markets, Kohut said reporting a day earlier than usual would probably not make a big difference for retailers.

Some publicly held retailers, such as Macy’s Inc., no longer report monthly figures and would not be affected by the shift.

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