ICSC: Same Store Sales Down 0.1% for Chains

U.S. chain store sales for February 2009 were off 0.1 percent on a year-over-year same-store basis, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, Inc. The organization said the result is an improvement over previous monthly performances.

“Although Wal-Mart may have been the poster child of February’s relatively better-than-expected industry sales performance, there was a slightly broader industry improvement for the month,” said Michael P. Niemira, ICSC chief economist and director of research. “Moreover, the last four months show an increasingly less negative performance for the industry—which is an encouraging sign and one that ultimately will form a foundation for stronger sales performance later in the year.”

For March, 2009 ICSC Research expects same store sales to be down 1percent to flat on a year-over-year basis.

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 35chain stores during the month of February. 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. Same store sales are also compiled for specialized-industry groupings, which include aggregates for apparel chain stores, department stores, discount stores, drug stores, footwear stores, furniture chain stores and wholesale clubs.