November Chain-Store Sales Up 3.5%

November sales grew by 3.5 percent on a year-over-year comparison for the same month of 2006 on a same-store basis for U.S. chain stores, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, Inc.

Although the overall sales gain for November was the strongest monthly increase since March 2007 (+5.9%), ICSC Research estimates that between ¾ and 1 percentage point of the November year-over-year sales strength was due to a calendar mismatch that inflated sales for a number of retailers.

“Adjusting for the calendar quirk, November sales were in line with fiscal-year trends,” said Michael P. Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research. “We continue to expect comparable-store sales to increase by 2.5 percent during the holiday season (November-December),” said Niemira. “Additionally, we expect an increase of about 1.5 percent for the month of December.”

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 46 chain stores during the month of November. 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.