WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 (UPI) — Retail sales receipts at U.S. chain stores soared 3.4 percent in the week ending Saturday, a retail trade group said Tuesday.
The International Council of Shopping Centers said sales rose “despite a bout of unseasonably warm weather.” Sales rose, the group said, “in part because of consumers who were still behind on their holiday-gift completion pace relative to last year.”
Sales rose 4.6 percent compared with the same week in 2010 as “mall traffic rose to a seasonal high and was the strongest since the week ending Jan. 3, 2011.”
For factory outlet stores, the week posted the second highest traffic volume of the year, following a week in late October.
Business was “brisk” at discount stores, department stores and “very strong” at apparel-specialty outlets, the trade group said.