Research >> Economics
ICSC Chain Store Sales fell 0.7% in Jun 9 Wk
The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) reported that chain store sales fell 0.7% from the prior week, the seventh decline in the past 9 weeks, while increasing 2.9% over the prior-year period during the week ending June 9th. The ICSC‐GS consumer tracking survey suggested that consumer traffic was a bit stronger in the past week relative to the prior week, but in line with two weeks ago. Business improved at dollar stores, which bounced back from last week’s low, and wholesale clubs. However, discounters’ traffic weakened in the latest period, according to the tracking survey. Weather was unfavorable for apparel and seasonal business. “Weekly sales have been trending lower since April and the latest week’s performance was hurt by cool and wet weather [in some parts of the U.S.],” said Michael Niemira, ICSC’s vice president of research and chief economist. “Though with declining gasoline prices and the arrival of the official start of the summer season on June 20th next week, those factors might just give consumers the motivation they need to lift sales in coming weeks,” Niemira added.
According to Weather Trends International (WTI),the national average temperature over the past week ending Saturday was 3.3°F cooler than last year and 1.5°F cooler than its long‐term average. WTI noted that, “The Northeast and Northwest both saw the coldest second retail [fiscal] week of June in more than 21 years …[Also] the Northwest [ranked as the] wettest second week of June as well.” For the same period, the “Southeast was the coolest in 12 years and the wettest in 7 years.” Meanwhile, fuel prices had their tenth straight weekly pullback. The US Energy Information Administration said gas prices fell another 4.0 cents compared with the prior week to $3.572 on June 11th and, cumulatively, by 36.9 cents over the past 10 weeks. Compared with the same week of the prior year, the price of regular‐grade gasoline fell by 3.8% in the latest week, which was its 8th straight year-over-year drop. For all of June, ICSC Research forecasts a comparable‐store sales gain of about 2% (including drug stores, which will be reported later due to the calendar). Excluding drug stores, sales are expected to increase by around 3.5% to 4.0%.
Posted: June 12, 2012 Tuesday 07:45 AM