New York City A report issued Tuesday by the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs said weekly chain store sales in the U.S. rose 1.7% from one year ago.
However, same-store sales fell 3 % from the previous week, which ICSC blamed on bargain-hunting consumers and depleted clearance merchandise.
“In a special ICSC-Goldman Sachs consumer survey asking about the motivation for January shopping, an overwhelming 53% of consumers noted that they are looking for bargains with two-thirds of those bargain hunters stating that they would most likely not buy anything that was not on sale,” said Michael P. Niemira, ICSC chief economist.
“This is what exactly happened this past week and will probably be what happens throughout the month -- if it is not on sale and the consumer does not need it, they will not make the purchase.”
Given this, added Niemira, for January 2010 ICSC Research expects industry comp-store sales to be flat to up 1%.