Luxury chain store sales increased 6.6 percent in June

Favorable seasonal weather and improved consumer confidence drove consumers to retail chain stores in June as monthly chain-store sales posted an impressive increase of 5.3% on a year-over-year basis, according to a survey from International Council of Shopping Centers. June’s sales performance was the strongest monthly gain since May 2004 when monthly chain store sales rose 5.7 percent.

In June, there was a narrowing in the gap between retail segments and evidence that there is a broad-based pickup in retail sales across the industry. For the month, the best performing sectors were luxury stores and wholesale clubs as sales increased by 8.2 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively. Department stores also posted strong results as sales rose by 5.5 percent in June. Apparel chains benefited from the consumer’s need for seasonal attire and saw sales rise by 4.7 percent, the strongest segment gain since October 2004.

“Consumers went on a spending spree in June as demand for seasonal goods finally stirred spending,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research. “With the industry facing easier sales comparisons, improving consumer confidence, and better seasonal weather in the coming months, it appears that the ‘retail stars’ are aligned for positive sales growth during the second half of 2005.

For July, ICSC expects same-store sales to increase by 4 to 5 percent, 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 compilation of publicly-available sales for approximately 70 retail chain stores.