WASHINGTON (MNI) – The following is the commentary from the
ICSC-Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Snapshot released

Though consumers appeared to have taken the 2011 holiday shopping
season by storm over Thanksgiving weekend, they now appear to be waiting
till the end of the season to complete their holiday shopping. As a
result, weekly retail sales declined for the second week as the
post-Thanksgiving shopping lull continued for another week. Given this,
for the week ending December 10, 2011 weekly retail sales declined by
0.1 percent, according to International Council of Shopping Centers
(ICSC) and Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index. On a
year-over-year basis, retail sales slowed to 2.9 percent.

“Consumers seemingly have slowed their holiday-gift completion pace
over the last week relative to last year and with it sales edged lower
modestly from the prior week,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC vice president
of research and chief economist. “However, the good news is that the
pace of spending is likely to accelerate more rapidly with the start of
Hanukkah and the arrival of Christmas Day as consumers will need to
wrap-up their holiday-gift purchases within the next two weeks,” added

For December, ICSC expects that comparable-store sales will
increase by 3.5 to 4.0 percent following November’s softer-than-excepted
2.8 percent year-over-year increase.

** Market News International Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **