ICSC: September sales post 4.0% increase; drug stores strongest performing segment

New York -- U.S. chain-store sales posted a gain of 4.0% for the fiscal month of September on a year-over-year basis according to a tally compiled by the International Council of Shopping Centers. Excluding gasoline sales, the September tally would actually be +5.1%.

“The biggest story line here is that the September performance was led by the drug-store segment, posting its strongest monthly showing since April 2007,” said Michael P. Niemira, VP of research and chief economist for ICSC. “This seemingly heralds the full recovery of this segment after an extended period of weakness due to several mitigating factors.”

Drug-store sales rose by 6.0% in September. Apparel was the weakest performing segment, posting a 0.1% gain (preliminary number does not include Gap Inc.).
For October, ICSC research anticipates that comparable-store sales will increase between 3% and 4.0%. However, the backdrop of the federal government shutdown does have the potential to curb spending during the month, biasing the October expectations to a slightly weaker performance even on the heels of a strong gain in September.

The ICSC Chain Store Sales Trends is a monthly report on the U.S. retail industry's sales performance based on an ICSC preliminary compilation of publicly-available sales for 11 chain stores during the month of September. Industry sales aggregates are compiled for "comparable-store" or "same-store" sales and for total store sales. Those data are presented as an index.

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