NEW YORK (October 26, 2010) – The weekly roller coaster pattern facing retailers this October continued as retail sales were on the upswing and improved slightly this past week.
Overall for the week ending October 23, 2010, sales rose by 0.3 percent, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index.
On a year-over-year basis, retail sales momentum has remained sluggish, but rose by 1.9 percent.
“Seasonally warm weather continues to curb the consumer appetite for fall merchandise and puts the October performance on a slow track,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC director of research and chief economist. “October continues to be an up and down month for retailers. As such, ICSC Research now anticipates that year-over-year comparable-store sales growth will increase by 2.0 to 2.5 percent, industry-wide for the month,” Niemira added.
The Weekly Chain Store Sales Snapshot is produced by the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs. This index measures U.S. nominal same-store or comparable-store sales excluding restaurant and vehicle demand. The weekly index is constructed as a sales-weighted geometric average growth rate to preserve long-term consistency and is statistically benchmarked to a broad-based monthly retail industry sales aggregate that currently represents approximately 40 retail chain stores, which also is compiled by ICSC. A representative sample of those major retailers has been used as a control group to extrapolate the weekly sales index. As such, the weekly index statistically represents industry sales and is not just a sum of sales for a handful of retailers. The standard period used for the index is Sunday through Saturday, even though some retailers use a different weekly accounting period. The weekly sales index is presented on an adjusted basis to account for normal seasonality and to counter other data anomalies. Weekly seasonal adjustment is at best difficult for chain store sales given that retailers can and often do shift promotions to counter typical shifts in the calendar. Nonetheless, the approach to weekly seasonal adjustment used follows from the Piser Method, which was popular in the early 1930s and became the standard for weekly adjustment.