WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 (UPI) — U.S. shoppers spent money on staples as an earthquake and hurricane altered the retail week, a trade group in Washington said.
Retail sales rose marginally in the week ended last Saturday, the International Council of Shopping Centers said. Sales rose 0.1 percent from the previous week and 3 percent from the same week a year earlier.
The group called the rise “modest” and said much of the shopping was geared toward necessities.
In the East, consumer traffic picked up in grocery and drug stores with customers “presumably stocking up on basics,” as Hurricane Irene may have altered spending habits for the week, the report said.
Weather Trends International said, “Millions of people in the track of the hurricane began to hunker down at home on Saturday to ride out the storm.”
“Many businesses closed early or saw much reduced traffic by later in the day,” WTI said.