Holiday sales rebound

Sales for the week ending Dec. 13 rose 2.1% in comparison with the prior week, according to the ICSC-UBS Weekly Retail Chain Store Sales Index. Store performance was driven by staples such as food and pharmacy at discounters, while department store apparel sales, were aided by colder winter weather.

“Sales mostly recovered from the prior week’s hefty 2.5% decline, which was largely a result of a record snowstorm that blanketed the Northeast. Additionally, sales volume will continue to grow as Christmas and Hanukkah approach and consumers play some catch-up shopping. Overall, I expect December sales will grow by about 4.5% on a year-over-year basis despite some weather related disruptions to weekly sales performance,” said Michael Niemira, Internation Council of Shopping Centers’ chief economist and director of research.

The ICSC-UBS Weekly U.S. Retail Chain Store Sales Index measures nominal same-store or comparable-store sales excluding restaurant and vehicle demand. The weekly index is constructed using sales-weighted geometric average growth rates to preserve long-term consistency and is statistically benchmarked to a broad-based monthly retail industry sales aggregate that currently represents about 80 retail chain stores, which also is compiled by ICSC.