April was a “Tough Month” for Chain Store Retailers

Chain store sales finished off the fiscal month of April by decreasing 0.6 percent from the prior week. Sales were up 1.7 percent on a year-over-year basis, which was the softest growth rate since March 3 (1.5%); emphasizing the difficulty the industry faced during the month.  April’s monthly sales are expected to post a small decline, the first since March 2003 (-0.2%), according to a survey by the International Council of Shopping Centers.  

“April was a tough month for retailers with a confluence of factors all depressing demand” said Michael P. Niemira, chief economist for ICSC “The Easter shift boosted March sales at the expense of April’s performance and abnormally cool and wet weather depressed the consumers’ appetite for spring merchandise, as rising gasoline prices continued to take a bite of the consumers’ discretionary spending power.”

The ICSC-UBS Weekly U.S. Retail Chain Store Sales Index is a joint publication between ICSC and UBS Securities LLC. The index measures nominal same-store or comparable-store sales excluding restaurant and vehicle demand.