RAPAPORT... U.S. chain-store sales rose 2.1 percent year on year for the week that ended on February 15, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and Goldman Sachs. ICSC concluded that Valentine's Day gift spending helped boost the week-to-week comparable-store sales results by 2.5 percent.
“Valentine’s Day gave consumers the much needed spark to shop and spend this past week,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC's vice president of research and chief economist. “However, the week’s potential demand was pared somewhat by significant winter storms again. The ICSC‐GS consumer tracking survey found modest improvement versus the same week of the prior year for drug, department, apparel, wholesale clubs, specialty stores (such as jewelry stores), office and furniture stores. Dollar stores were down sharply — according to the survey, while demand was weaker for grocery and discount stores as well.”
ICSC Research anticipates that February's comparable-store sales will reflect a healthy increase of between 3 percent and 3.5 percent. The weekly chain-store sales snapshot is produced by ICSC and Goldman Sachs to measure U.S. nominal same-store, or comparable-store, sales while excluding restaurant and vehicle demand. The weekly sales index is presented on an adjusted basis to account for normal seasonal and other data anomalies.