Consumer Payment Card News

Mall Sales Down

Compared to the same period last year, sales at mall specialty stores are down 0.7 percent during the third full week of the holiday shopping season of 1998, although overall sales for the season-to-date (beginning with Black Friday) are up 0.8 percent.
According to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the trade association of the shopping center industry, their report of revenue from more than 2,500 specialty stores in 48 regional malls across the country indicates that this has been an unusual holiday shopping season. Their data does not include department stores and other mall anchors.

In spite of a strong economy, it appears that the unseasonably warm weather and dramatic domestic and international political events have distracted shoppers. The ICSC remains positive, however, that the season will end on a positive note.

The following statistics are summaries of sales results by category for the period December 14 through 20, 1998, according to the ICSC report:

–Cards/Gifts/Books +0.5%
–Jewelry +2/5%
–Home Furnishings +4/5%
–Footwear -6.2%
–Apparel +0.2%
–Home Entertainment -0.4%
–Food +0.8%
–Toys/Health & Beauty/Misc. -4.4%

TOTAL -0.7%

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