New York City For the week ended Jan. 10, chain store sales fell 2.3% according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-Goldman Sachs chain store index.
The drop was attributed to lower post-holiday traffic, fewer gift cards and bad weather. The drop is the largest weekly sales decline in two years.
ICSC said it expects sales in January to decline from 2% to 3% as consumer demand remains weak.
December chain store sales fell 2% from the previous year. Excluding a strong performance by Wal-Mart Stores, comparable-store sales declined 4.6% from the previous year. The downturn was the largest since at least 1970, according to ICSC, and the week's decrease was the largest since Dec. 2, 2006.