U.S. Retailers' Sales Rose 3.1% Last Week, Group Says

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by S2007S, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. S2007S


    U.S. Retailers' Sales Rose 3.1% Last Week, Group Says (Update1)

    By Jennifer Sudick

    Dec. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Sales at U.S. retailers rose 3.1 percent this past week as consumers shopped for holiday gifts, a weekly survey by the International Council of Shopping Centers said.

    Sales at stores open at least a year in the seven days through Dec. 2 were the strongest since the period ended Oct. 14, when sales increased 3.9 percent, ICSC and UBS Securities LLC said today in a statement.

    ``Shoppers ate away at their wish lists,'' said ICSC spokeswoman Patrice Duker. ``The product lines have changed a lot this year and they are at prices people can afford, especially electronics.''

    U.S. retailers' November sales rose less than analysts estimated and the ICSC last week lowered its forecast for the holidays after Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's biggest retailer, forecast slowing growth. Last year, 32 percent of the retail industry's profit and 27 percent of sales were derived in the November-through-January period, the group said.

    Sales for the week through Nov. 25 fell 0.4 percent, the second drop in the month.

    The New York-based trade group tracks reports from as many as 75 companies.

    Chain-store sales for the month of November rose 2.1 percent, the smallest gain since March, ICSC said on Nov. 30 after Wal-Mart posted its worst monthly sales numbers in more than a decade.

    Luxury and department chain stores led the way with gains of 5.1 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively.

    Holiday Forecast

    ICSC Chief Economist Mike Niemira said on Nov. 30 he expected same-store sales to increase by as little as 2.5 percent for November and December compared with last year. The ICSC had previously estimated a 3 percent gain. In 2005, sales for the two months increased 3.6 percent. ICSC expects sales to rise by 2.5 percent to 3 percent for December, Niemira said today in the statement.

    Shares of Wal-Mart rose 42 cents to $46.29 yesterday in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock has fallen 1 percent this year while the Standard & Poor's 500 Retailing Index has climbed 10 percent.

    To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer Sudick in New York at jsudick@bloomberg.net .
    Last Updated: December 5, 2006 09:12 EST
  2. Ho-hum. Upscale retailers are doing well. Downscale retailers aren't doing well.