U.S. Chain Store Sales Up 1.6% in October

October sales grew by 1.6 percent on a year-over-year comparison for the same month of 2006 on a comparable store basis for U.S. chain stores, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, Inc.

October held relatively steady with September (1.7%), due to the continuing unseasonably warm weather pattern in the U.S. throughout the month. This factor impacted apparel sales and in effect kept the overall industry performance down.

“Over the last two months, retailers have struggled with the warm weather’s negative impact on retail spending,” said Michael P. Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research. “However, for the November-December period, we are expecting a marked improvement from the very sluggish September-October performance,” Niemira said. “We expect a 2.5% year-over-year sales increase for November.”

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 44 chain stores during the month of October. Industry sales aggregates are compiled for “comparable-store” or “same-store” sales and for total store sales. Those data are presented as an index with a 1977=100 base. Comparable-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.