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U.S. Chain-Store Sales +2%

Jewelry Sales Data Shows Mixed Results
Dec 30, 2014 8:53 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... U.S. chain-store sales rose 2.2 percent year on year for the week that ended on December 27 and included the final shopping days before Christmas, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and Goldman Sachs.  However, same-store sales were flat compared with the previous week.

“Looking ahead to January, consumers reported that the share of their total holiday gift purchases that went into gift cards rose to 24.6 percent compared to 23.7 percent in 2013 – reinforcing the importance of post-Christmas shopping and gift-card redemption,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC's research consultant.

The group will report fiscal-month sales for December on January 8.

In a separate and more optimistic report, MasterCard SpendingPulse estimated that retail sales between Black Friday (November 28) and Christmas Eve (December 24) may have improved 5.5 percent year on year.  The group added that the increase was helped by one additional shopping day in 2014 compared with 2013 and that the increase was in line with its forecast.

Sarah Quinlan, the senior vice president at MasterCard Advisors, explained that this Christmas season was an experiential event for U.S. consumers. "While certain retail categories saw steady performance from prior months, the focus on creating experiences stayed at the top of many lists. From dining out to planning trips to memorable pieces of jewelry, we saw increases in those categories that will drive future stories beyond just a package exchanged with a friend or family member," she said.

The initial feeling from MasterCard Advisers led the group to conclude that  jewelry and women's apparel sectors performed stronger than other categories, but the group declined to provide further details at this time.

This past week, Rapaport News reported that actual U.S. jewelry and watch sales in November kicked off the Christmas season on the weak side, growing only 1.4 percent year on year to $7.128 billion. (Read the full report here.)


Tags: chain-stores, Consumer Spending, iscs, Jeff Miller, retail sales
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