Weekly retail sales take an ‘expected’ 3.5 percent dip

After an extremely promotional Thanksgiving week, holiday shopping as retail chain store sales declined by 3.1 percent for the week ending Dec. 3, according to International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). On a year-over-year basis, the week’s sales pace also slowed by 3.5 percent.

“Increasingly, the post-Thanksgiving week dip has become a ‘standard’ part of the holiday shopping season,” said Michael P. Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research.”Although the latest week’s decline was not encouraging, it was not necessarily worrisome as only nine percent of households have completed their holiday shopping.

“As for December, we expect comparable chain store sales to rise by 3 percent to 3.5 percent, on a year-over-year basis,” Niemira added.