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NEW YORK — Retailers finally got something to cheer about as cooler temperatures nationwide drove consumers indoors and motivated those to shop this past week. As a result, for the week ending June 2, weekly retail sales turned positive and rose by 0.4%, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index. On a year-over-year basis, some weakness remains as retail sales slowed slightly to 2.8% over last year.
"Despite a cooler national temperature over the past week, sales improved modestly after a five-week contraction as customer traffic at apparel store traffic improved sharply, but weakened appreciably at discounters, according to the ICSC-GS consumer tracking survey," said Michael Niemira, ICSC vice president of research and chief economist. "As we move throughout the month, we expect overall performance to continue to be very uneven from week to week and by retail segment," Niemira added.
Looking ahead to June, ICSC Research forecasts a gain in industry comparable-store sales, excluding drug stores, of about 3.5% to 4.0% following the May rise of 4.0%. Including drug store sales, the industry tally is likely to be about two percentage points weaker.