Retail sales increased 4.4 percent in October

Comparable-store sales in October rose by 4.4 percent on a year-over-year basis, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. October’s sales performance was better then the year-to-date performance of 3.9 percent.

Sales performance for October among retail sectors was mixed, ICSC said. The best performing sector was wholesale clubs as sales increased by 8.2 percent. Luxury stores sales increased by 7.3 percent for the month. Footwear stores saw sales rise by 7.3 percent. Rounding out the month was: drug stores (5.2 percent), department stores (3.8 percent), discount stores (3.6 percent) and apparel chain stores (1.8 percent).

“October’s sales performance was surprisingly more positive then we expected,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research. “Despite the challenges of unseasonably warm weather earlier in the month, retailers did well especially given the tough comparison over last year. October’s sales performance highlights that there is underlying demand across sectors and it remains relatively steady as we head into the holiday season. For November, ICSC expects same-store sales to increase by about 3.5 percent on a year-over-year basis,” Niemira added.

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 69 retail chain stores.