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

Retailers enjoyed another week of sales increases as consumers got
into the holiday mood early and spent more freely this past week.
Overall for the week ending July 2, weekly retail sales rose once again
by 1.5 percent, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store
Sales Index. On a year-over-year basis retail sales also increased from
the prior week to 3.5 percent.

“As the fiscal month of June came to a close this past week
consumers gave retailers something to celebrate as they spent on
seasonal goods, giving retailers another week of positive sales
increases,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC vice president of research and
chief economist. “With retailers reporting their monthly comp-store
sales for June on Thursday, sales are likely to be helped by stepped up
apparel discounting and some hot and dry weather late in the month,”
added Niemira.

ICSC Research expects comp-store sales will rise between 2.5 to 3.5
percent excluding the impact of fuel and between 3.5 to 4.5 percent with
fuel when retailers post their comp-store sales results this Thursday,
July 7, 2011.

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