Research >> Economics
ICSC Chain Store Sales increasing 3.4% in Dec 17 Wk
The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) reported that chain store sales rose by the most in nearly 11 years, increasing 3.4% from the prior week, and increased 4.6% over the prior-year period during the week ending Dec 17th, the most since the week ending July 9th. Some of the increase was likely a catch up following the pronounced two‐week lull in early December when sales rose only a modestly‐positive 0.3%. Despite unseasonably warm weather and consumers who still were behind on their holiday‐gift completion pace relative to last year, business was brisk last week as mall traffic rose to a seasonal high to levels not seen since the first week of 2011, while factory outlet foot-fall was the second highest this year. By store type, business was brisk at discounters, department stores and very strong at apparel‐specialty stores. Department‐store market share, for the week, was the highest since late 2010 (which tends to have a seasonal lift at Christmas time) and apparel stores also had its highest market share this year for its own segment. ”After a shopping lull over the first two weeks of December, consumers were out in force this past week trying to complete their holiday shopping,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC’s vice president of research and chief economist. “However, despite the latest week’s pickup, consumers are still behind in their holiday-gift completion rate relative to last year, which means the final week before Christmas is likely to be very, very busy,” added Niemira.
According to the ICSC‐Goldman Sachs’ consumer tracking surveys, the average gift completion rate was 70% through Sunday, compared to 74% in the same week in 2010. According to Weather Trends International (WTI), national temperatures over the past week ending Saturday were a whopping 7.8°F warmer than last year and 3.7°F warmer than its long-term average. WTI reported that although temperatures turned colder by the end of the week, the third week of December was the warmest in five years for the nation as a whole. 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, with total November-December sales of 3.5%.
Posted: December 20, 2011 Tuesday 07:45 AM