Mall sales slightly down during Thanksgiving weekend

Sales at mall specialty stores were 1.5% with jewelry sales down 2.3% for the first weekend of the holiday season when compared with 2000, reports the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

Sales Results by Category for November 23-25, 2001

Apparel: -6.1%
Food service: -4.7%
Footwear: 1.5%
Home furnishings and furniture: 5.0%
Jewelry: -2.3%
Music, video, and home entertainment: 9.8%
Stationery, cards and books: -6.7%
Toys/sporting goods/other: -1.7%
TOTAL: -1.5%

“There are no surprises here. As expected, consumers continue to be cautious in their spending habits,” said Michael Baker, director of research for ICSC. “They are making purchases that contribute to a strong sense of home and family, exemplified by the strong sales increases in the home furnishings and home entertainment categories.”

But Baker adds that shopping patterns may end up being pretty close to normal for the holiday season.

“Thanksgiving weekend accounts for only about 10% of total holiday sales, so there is a long way to go,” Baker said. “With four complete weeks of shopping left, the season will most likely follow normal sales patterns, with the majority of holiday spending coming at the end of the season.”

The ICSC weekly holiday report includes sales results from more than 4,000 specialty stores in 80 regional malls across the country. The national sample does not include department stores and other mall anchors.

DataScape Technology, a software development company, compiled the sales data exclusively for ICSC.