Retailers, consumers and prices
Check Out Line: Another weak week
Check out the weak sales week.
Chain store sales posted their weakest year-over-year increase in five years in the latest week, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers-UBS index. Sales were up only 0.5 percent in the week ended March 29, the worst performance since April 5, 2003.
One culprit: weak sales of spring clothes.
In a survey taken for ICSC-UBS on March 27- March 30, 59 percent of consumers said they cut back on spring apparel purchases or eliminated buying it altogether.
Just over one-third of people surveyed cited budget constraints, while 10 percent cited weather.
“For the month, ICSC expects industry comparable-store sales to be flat to down slightly on a year-over-year unadjusted basis,” ICSC Chief Economist Michael Niemira said.
ICSC now estimates Target same-store sales to be down 1 percent in March, Kohl’s to be down 8 percent, J.C. Penney to be down 11 percent and Wal-Mart to be up 1 percent.
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