Dec. 3 - Weekly and monthly surveys show a short term downward trend in retail sales- though sales are up from a year ago. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Retailers have been going all out to lure consumers this holiday season- and how they are doing- depends on who you ask. Chain store sales were down 2.8 percent in the week ending November 30th compared to the previous week according to the International Council of Shopping Centers or ICSC/Goldman Sachs Retail Sales Index. On a year over year basis however they were up. But a separate report- on monthly data- from Redbook research showed U.S. chain store sales were only down fractionally in November compared to October- and on a year over year basis- were up close to 5 percent. Decision Economics' Cary Leahey: SOUNDBITE: CARY LEAHEY, CHIEF U.S. ECONOMIST, DECISION ECONOMICS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The numbers are all over the map. I would say you'd have to say at the very least so far Christmas sales have been disappointing. Particularly in the stores themselves sales appear to be down or at least not much better than a year ago certainly disappointing to retailers however there has been a long standing shift which appears to have accelerated in the past year towards internet or cyber related spending." The data comes after Cyber Monday- where U.S. online sales are expected to have hit $2 billion - a record since comScore has been keeping track.