New York City The International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs said Tuesday that chain-store sales for the week ended Nov. 7 rose 2.9% from the year-earlier period.
On a week-over-week basis, sales fell 0.1%.
"Consumers are largely not focused on holiday shopping yet," said Michael Niemira, ICSC's chief economist. An ICSC-GS holiday survey found that more shoppers expect to start their holiday shopping on the day following Thanksgiving -- the newly dubbed 'Bargain Friday' -- than in any recent year, Niemira said.
The survey found that 46% of consumers haven't even started their holiday shopping yet -- which is typical of consumers' holiday spending patterns. ICSC sees November sales could be up 5% to 8% against easy comparisons. In November 2008, sales tumbled by a historic 7.7%.