U.S. chain store sales Up 1% in September

U.S. chain store sales for September 2008 rose by 1 percent on a year-over-year same-store basis according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, Inc.

“This was the weakest sales growth of any September since 2001 when the industry was in a recession and facing the aftermath of 9/11,” said Michael P. Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research. “But even with all this gloom there were a few bright spots, such as wholesale clubs which had underlying sales strength that was five times the overall industry. We expect October sales to post a sluggish increase of about 1.5-2.5 percent, as there is considerable uncertainty about the economy.”

ICSC Chain Store Sales Trends is a monthly report on the U.S. retail industry’s sales performance based on an ICSC preliminary compilation of publicly-available sales for 36 chain stores during the month of September. Industry sales aggregates are compiled for “comparable-store” or “same-store” sales and for total store sales. Those data are presented as an index with a 1977=100 base. Same-store sales are also compiled for specialized-industry groupings, which include aggregates for apparel chain stores, department stores, discount stores, drug stores, footwear stores, furniture chain stores and wholesale clubs.