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U.S. Retailers Report Strong January Sales

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In a trend that will hopefully set the tone for the rest of the year, U.S. retail chains posted better than expected same-store sales increases in January. Thomson Reuters, which surveyed results from 20 retailers, reports that same-store sales rose 5 percent for the month, above the 3.1 percent increase projected earlier. Individual outperformers included Macy's, Gap Inc., Costco, Target and Victoria's Secret, among others.

A Bloomberg report cited several reasons for the boost in same-store sales:

Analysts said a number of factors gave January an artificial boost: Unusually cold weather mid-month in big parts of the country helped clear out winter merchandise, and a long weekend before New Year's Day helped. January is also a low-volume month, so the numbers are less important than, say, those for November and December.

ICSC, which tracked 22 retailers, also reported a strong January, with a 4.5 percent increase in same-store sales, representing the highest jump in sales since September 2011. Department stores posted by far the best results, with same-store sales growth of 11.4 percent. The next best performing sector was specialty apparel, with growth of 6.7 percent.

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Elaine Misonzhnik

Senior associate editor Elaine Misonzhnik has been writing for National Real Estate Investor since June 2006 and has covered commercial real estate for more than 12 years. She first became...
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