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

Despite the continuation of mild weather across the country
consumers continued to redeem their holiday gift cards and gave
retailers their first week of positive sales results for 2012. As a
result, for the week ending January 14, 2012, weekly retail sales rose
by 0.1 percent, according to International Council of Shopping Centers
(ICSC) and Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index. In addition to
the weekly increase, retail sales on a year-over-year basis bounced back
and rose by 3.0 percent.

“This past week was another week of light volume for the nation’s
retailers as unseasonable mild weather put a damper on the need for
seasonal merchandise,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC vice president of
research and chief economist. “However, despite this consumers were out
redeeming their gift cards which drove weekly sales overall,” added

For January, ICSC Research anticipates January comparable-store
sales for the retail industry will increase by 2.0 to 3.0 percent on a
year-over-year basis to finish the fiscal year.

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