Research >> Economics
ICSC Chain Store Sales falling 0.1% in Dec 10 Wk
The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) reported that chain store sales fell for the third time in the last 4 weeks, declining a slight 0.1% from the prior week, but increased 2.9% over the prior-year period during the week ending Dec 10th. ”Consumers seemingly have slowed their holiday gift completion pace over the last week relative to last year and with it sales edged lower modestly from the prior week,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC’s vice president of research and chief economist. “However, the good news is that the pace of spending is likely to accelerate more rapidly with the start of Hanukkah and the arrival of Christmas Day as consumers will need to wrap-up their holiday gift purchases within the next two weeks.” According to the ICSC‐Goldman Sachs’ consumer tracking surveys, the average gift completion rate (excluding those who haven’t started shopping) was 65.3%, compared to 64.3% in the same week in 2010, and consumers procrastinating and not starting their holiday shopping yet dwindled to 15% from 12% last year, probably explaining some of the weakness during the past week.
According to Weather Trends International (WTI), national temperatures over the past week ending Saturday were 2.3°F warmer than last year but 1.3°F colder than its long-term average. WTI reported that although this was the first week since early November that temperatures in the nation have been colder than its ten‐year average, “the country as a whole trended the warmest in three years.” The U.S. Energy Information Administration said that gas prices dropped by 1.6 cents to $3.274 on Dec 12th, up 9.9% from a year ago but the lowest price since Feb 21st. For all of December, ICSC Research projects industry sales rose 3% to 3.5% excluding the impact of fuel and 3.5% to 4.0% with fuel.
Posted: December 13, 2011 Tuesday 07:45 AM