Weekly sales dropped 0.8% at chain stores

The conclusion of the holiday shopping season pushed down last week’s U.S. chain store sales 0.8 percent from the week before, according to ICSC’s index. The week’s sales dropped 2.9 percent compared to the previous year.

“Although the final week of December had some strong days, heavy discounts at the end of the month decreased the week-over-week sales pace,” said Michael P. Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research. “Shoppers seemed to come out until Dec. 26th and that was it.”

Sales for the month and the holiday season, Niemira says, remain on track for a moderate increase of 3 percent to 3.5 percent on a year-over-year basis.