Chain store sales rose by 2.6% in July over the same period in 2007, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers — a bit of good
Discount stores, wholesale clubs and drug stores led the industry in boosting sales, Michael Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research, noted in a report released on Thursday.
"Although July captured some early back-to-school shopping, the month was dominated by clearance sales and discounts," Niemira says. “Value and convenience retailers performed better in July than the industry as a whole.”
July’s gain, however, was not as great as the 4.2% increase reported in June. Still, it was in line with the 2.5% average monthly year-over-year growth rate trend to date in 2008, Niemira says.
August sales are also expected to show an increase over last year, given the demand for back-to-school and fall merchandise. Niemira projects that industry sales will increase by 2% this month.
The ICSC is a trade association that includes 75,000 members in the U.S. and more than 80 other countries. Members include shopping center owners, developers, managers,