New York City -- Shopping-center sales in November and December are expected to increase 2.2% relative to the same period a year ago, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. In 2010, the holiday season posted a 5% gain following two back-to-back declines during the 2007-09 recession.
The organization has forecast that U.S. holiday sales in 2011 will post a moderate 3% gain, down from 2.1% last year.
More broadly, the three common measures of holiday sales — shopping-center sales, ICSC’s composite of major chains and “GAFO-store” sales — all are expected to increase in 2011 by a slower pace of between 0.3 and 2.8% points, depending on the metric, compared with last year’s holiday performance.
“Although there are many statistics and surveys that convey the magnitude of holiday sales, the qualitative themes are more important than a ‘point estimate’ based on any specific metric,” noted Michael P. Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and VP for research.
The important themes of the ICSC holiday 2011 sales forecast include the following:
On balance, ICSC’s 2011 holiday sales forecast portrays a moderately healthy performance, Niemira added.