ICSC: Holiday sales up 1.4% week ending Dec. 21
New York — Weekly sales rose by 1.4% for the week ending Dec. 21, 2013. According to figures from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and the Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index, on a year-over-year basis, the pace of sales also improved and grew by 2.7%.
For December, ICSC Research expects monthly sales will increase between 3% and 4% as the promotional environment continues to be intense.
“Consumers reported in the ICSC-GS consumer tracking survey that the average holiday-gift completion rate rose to 83.5% through Sunday, close to last year’s 84% at a comparable time, which is good news for retailers and the industry,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC VP of research and chief economist.
Report: Federal hearings on Target breach possible
Washington, D.C. — Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) reportedly may seek federal hearings on the recent data breach at Target. According to the Associated Press, Menendez said in a press conference held outside a Jersey City, N.J. Target store that he has also requested the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate whether it can levy fines against Target and whether laws protecting sensitive consumer data need to be strengthened.
Menendez reportedly said he does not think the FTC can currently assess any fines. The FTC did not fine T.J. Maxx for a similar data breach that occurred in 2006 and was resolved with a settlement agreement. The Department of Justice and Secret Service are both investigating the breach and at least three class-action lawsuits have been filed against the retailer, seeking more than $5 million in damages.
comScore: Retail provides six gaining November desktop categories
Reston, Va. — Several retail subcategories were among the top-gaining in November as Thanksgiving kicked off the holiday shopping season. According to comScore Media Metrix analysis of U.S., desktop activity in November 2013, the retail categories of toys, consumer electronics, jewelry/luxury goods/accessories, department stores, mall, and fragrances/cosmetics all were among the top 10 gaining desktop site categories in November.
Toys reported the highest percent change of any retail category (30%), and had 22.6 million unique visitors for the month. Department stores, had the highest number of unique visitors (85.1 million) and 21% growth. Toys had the second-highest percent change and department stores had the fifth-highest. E-cards led all categories with 65% growth and 16.9 million unique visitors.