ICSC study: Thanksgiving weekend jewelry sales in malls up 11.5%

The 2002 holiday shopping season at the nation’s malls got off to a strong start Thanksgiving weekend as sales increased 7.6% over 2001, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) reports. Jewelry sales were up 11.5% over last year’s figures, the third-highest performer.

Summary of Sales Results for November 29, 2002 – December 1, 2002 by category:

Apparel: 5.2 %
Food service: 5.6 %
Footwear: -5.4 %
Home furnishings and furniture: 15.4 %
Jewelry: 11.5 %
Music, video, and home entertainment: – 5.4 %
Stationery, cards and books: 7.5 %
Toys/sporting goods/other: 16.6 %
TOTAL: 7.6 %

“As we anticipated, consumers kicked-off their holiday shopping with urgency this past weekend,” said Michael Baker, director of research for ICSC. “We are encouraged by the strong year-over-year sales increase and despite six fewer shopping days this year, we remain optimistic in our outlook for the entire holiday season,” added Baker.

With six fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas (26 days vs. 32 days), ICSC believes that the only true year-over-year sales comparison that can be made this year is for the Thanksgiving weekend sales period. For this reason, the ICSC will only be releasing sales data on Monday, December 2, 2002, which will compare the 2002 Thanksgiving weekend sales period with 2001. ICSC will continue to track the holiday season and release comparable year-over-year sales data for November and December on January 2, 2003. “This year, more than ever, the strength of holiday season should be assessed by looking at November and December sales rather than just the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Baker said.

The ICSC holiday report includes sales results from approximately 5,000 specialty stores in 58 enclosed malls from across the country. The national sample does not include department stores and other mall “anchors.”