2009 Opens with Chain Store Sales Down 2.3%

Weekly chain store sales declined 2.3 percent for the week ending Jan. 10, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, Inc. and Goldman Sachs weekly sales index. In addition, sales on a year-over-year basis declined by 2.2 percent.

“A seasonal weakening in traffic, less gift-card redemption, and adverse weather all came together to weaken demand sharply for the first full week of 2009,” said Michael P. Niemira, ICSC chief economist. “As a result, the January reporting period began with a hefty 2.3 percent drop in sales—the largest weekly drop since Dec. 2, 2006 (-2.6%.). For the month of January, ICSC Research expects sales will be down 2 to 3 percent.”

The Weekly Chain Store Sales Snapshot measures U.S. nominal same-store or same-store sales excluding restaurant and vehicle demand.