New York City, For the third consecutive week, retail chain stores saw positive results as sales rose slightly by 0.3% for the week ending July 16, compared to the previous week, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). On a year-over-year basis, sales increased 4%.
“It is a transition time for retailers as summer goods and summer clearance are certainly still driving the consumer, but back-to-school shopping has not yet kicked into gear,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research. “For July, the easy industry comparison with last year (3.1% in July 2004) is offset by less summer clearance as a result of the good sell-through in June and potentially somewhat softer discretionary spending due to the higher fuel prices. ICSC expects monthly comp-store sales performance will increase by 4% to as much as 5% in July,” Niemira added.