U.S. retail sales slip by 4.1% during third week of March

U.S. retail sales for the week ending March 20 slipped by 4.1% compared to the same week in 2003, ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate (NRSE) reports.

ShopperTrak also reports that week-over-week sales for the period ending March 20 increased by 2.4% from the week ending March 13.

“Retail industry sales volume has been relatively steady over the last month or so,” says Michael Niemira, chief economist and director of research for the International Council of Shopping Centers. “In recent weeks however, weather conditions have been less than ‘retail friendly’ for the industry. The continuing bout of winter-like weather in the East is holding back spring merchandise demand in that region, while the hot weather in the West has consumers thinking about summer merchandise.”

Developed by ShopperTrak, the NRSE provides a nationwide benchmark of retail sales. It is derived from the U.S. Commerce Department’s GAFO (general merchandise, apparel, furniture, sporting goods, electronics, hobby, books and other related store sales) statistic, as well as ShopperTrak’s proprietary industry intelligence on shopper movement and sales statistics.