ICSC Retail Sales Data

Chain_salesHere’s some data Cherry Picking on my part:  yet another intriguing piece of Retail Sales data, from the ICSC:

"Chain store sales finished the “first phase” of the holiday shopping season (the pre-Christmas Day part) with a very mixed performance. There were pockets of strength, pockets of weakness, shifts in where spending occurred (online/in-store), shifts in the shares of spending on gift certificates/merchandise, a heavily discounted season (though largely planned), late consumer shopping, warm weather bouts paring seasonal demand and calendar issues affecting perceptions of strength."

Bill King notes "this amounts to an sales increase (pre-Christmas ) of just 1.7% y/y. This is far less than the 22.5% espoused by ShopperTrak."

Note that this is in Nominal dollars, implying that chain stores may have actually seen a sales decrease in Real Dollars:

"Although there is still one more week left in the December reporting period, comp-store sales for the five-week fiscal month of December—which will be reported on January 4, 2007—appear on-track for the low-end of our monthly range (2.5-3.5%) and as a result on the low-end of our range (2.5-3.0%) for the two-month November-December season . . .

Chain store sales rose by 2.5% in November, based on ICSC’s tally of 59 retail chains, and are expected to grow by about the same pace in December."

The one bright spot remains gift cards/post holiday shopping:

"With nearly one-in-five (18%) consumers who said they planned to shop on the day after Christmas (which was not significantly different from the 19% reporting that they shopped on December 26, 2005 when it was a federal holiday), the last week of the fiscal month might exceed modest expectations as consumers redeem those holiday gift cards and shop for the bargains on clearance."

YMMV . . .



Latest Week’s Sales Snapshot ICSC-UBS Weekly
International Council of Shopping Centers,
ICSC, December 27, 2006, 7:45 AM (ET)

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. anderl commented on Dec 29


    Consumers gave more than $18 billion in gift cards in 2005, an increase of 7 percent over 2004. One out of every five dollars spent during Christmas in 2005 was used to purchase a gift card, and the average person purchased five gift cards while shopping for holiday gifts.

  2. chris commented on Dec 29

    I really enjoy your blog but still don’t understand your way of thinking, meaning you spread “goldilocks” concerns (which I share) and on the other side your “BW” forcast reads like softlanding. How do you piece the puzzle of conflicting macro data together? Or in Mish’s word, do you believe the World is flat or not ?

  3. Fenner commented on Dec 29

    Prediction: the post Christmas sales are going to be abysmal. Why? Nobody needed to wait until after Christmas to get a cut rate deal. My source: my wife, who’s far better at guessing the retail numbers than anyone I’ve read.

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