US September same-store sales rose at a slower pace

U.S. retailers’ September same- store sales showed the smallest gain in at least three decades as consumers rattled about the economy and terrorist attacks bought less clothing and fewer luxury goods, analysts told Bloomberg news.

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd. reduced its same-store sales forecast to unchanged to up 1%, the second time since the Sept. 11 attacks that the projection has been lowered. Sales had been predicted to rise 3% when September began.

Nordstrom Inc. said same-store sales fell 9.4%, while Neiman Marcus Group Inc. said sales dropped 20%. Luxury retailers have been among the hardest hit as shoppers reduce discretionary spending. Consumers, worried about the economy, already had been limiting their purchases to mostly necessities such as cleaning supplies, analysts said.

“I think you’ve got to throw out September completely,” sais Bob Michaels, president and chief operating officer of General Growth Properties Inc., the second-largest 2 U.S. owner of shopping malls, Bloomberg reported. The company shut down its 145 malls on Sept. 11, and the malls had lower sales compared with a year earlier for much of the month, Michaels said.