A TRIFECTA OF EFFECTS PROVIDE SALES BOOST
Gift Cards, Mild Weather and Federal Holiday Aid in Weekly Increase
NEW YORK, January 4, 2012 – Retailers ended December with a sales trifecta as mild weather, an increase in gift card redemptions, and a federal holiday on Monday gave consumers the motivation they needed to shop this past week. As a result, for the week ending December 31, 2011 weekly retail sales once again rose by a strong 1.2 percent, according to International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index. On a year-over-year basis, retail sales rebounded and rose sharply to 5.3 percent—its strongest pace since the week ending July 11, 2010 (+5.5%).
"Thanks to an increase in gift-card redemptions, coupled with mild weather across the country and a federal holiday during the post-Christmas period, gave retailers the sales lift for the final sales week of 2010 and of the fiscal month,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC vice president of research and chief economist. "The last few weeks of December helped to lift the full-month performance above our earlier expectation,” added Niemira.
For December, ICSC now expects that comparable-store sales will increase by 4.0 to 4.5 percent when retailers report their monthly sales results on Thursday, January 5. 2012. (Previously ICSC had expected a 3.5 to 4 percent gain.)
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.