Consumers “cashed-in” their gift cards and took advantage of post-holiday sales at chain stores as sales increased by 0.3 percent for the week ending Dec. 30, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, Inc. and UBS Securities LLC. On a year-over-year basis, sales were 2.8 percent stronger than the adjusted pace in the prior week.
“This past week, consumers provided retailers with some additional holiday cheer as they began to cash in their gift cards,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research. “However, the calendar–as expected–added a wrinkle to the shopping profile during the final week of the year. Given that December 26 was not a federal holiday this year, sales volume for that day were off about a fifth compared with December 26, 2005. For December, we continue to expect sales to increase by about 2.5 percent.”
The ICSC-UBS Weekly U.S. Retail Chain Store Sales Index measures nominal same-store or comparable-store sales excluding restaurant and vehicle demand.