Chain Store Sales Up 3.6%

April U.S. chain store sales rose by 3.6 percent on a year-over-year same-store basis, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, Inc. It was the strongest performance in more than a year.

“Although the economic headwinds remain brisk, April year-over-year retail-chain store sales got a lift of 200-to-250 basis points due to the shifting Easter date (which resulted in an extra Sunday of sales in April 2008 versus April 2007),” said Michael P. Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research. “In addition, there was some modest pent-up demand with more seasonable weather early in the month, along with some increased promotional activity, which helped to explain the strongest monthly performance in more than a year.”

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 35 chain stores during the month of April. Industry sales aggregates are compiled for “same-store” sales and for total store sales. Those data are presented as an index with a 1977=100 base.