Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Another weak week

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clothes.jpgCheck 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.
 
Also in the basket:
 
Talbots sees loss in 2008
 
Electrolux says to make Q1 operating loss
 
(Phoot: Reuters)

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