The first week of summer was the best week for U.S. retail sales since the first week of winter — in 2011.
According to the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs’ weekly chain store sales index, sales last week rose 4.6 percent over the comparable week in 2013, the strongest year-over-year gain since sales rose 5.3 percent during the final week of 2011.
The sequential gain for the week ended June 28 was a more modest 1 percent, lower than the 2 percent gain for the June 21 week but above the 0.4 percent rise for the week ended June 14.
Last week’s performance marked the third consecutive week in which both year-over-year and sequential advances were registered, the trend since a 2.8 percent sequential decline during the week ended June 7.
Perhaps more significantly, it made for three consecutive weeks in which year-over-year sales were not only higher but in which the size of the sales increase was greater than the one that preceded it. Year-over-year sales rose 3 percent the week of June 7, followed by gains of 3.1 and 4.1 percent in the successive weeks leading up to last week’s strong showing.
“Business was up sharply for most segments, especially at department stores, apparel stores, discounters and wholesale clubs,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC research consultant. “Gasoline prices — which impact consumer discretionary purchasing power — stayed flat, providing consumers the ability to spend their money elsewhere.”
Gains within those channels were described as “hefty” while drug, dollar, electronics, office and furniture stores raked in “solid” increases, according to ICSC.
Weather bore much of the blame for soft sales during the first third of the calendar year and was less than cooperative last week in an improving business climate. Temperatures were, on average, 2.8 degrees cooler than during the comparable week last year, although 1.1 degrees above their long-term average.
ICSC continues to expect same-store sales among reporting retailers to rise 3.5 percent for June. Results will be reported on July 10.
Niemira, who has been with ICSC as chief economist and director of research since 2003, has ended his full-time association with the organization. He will continue to provide commentary on weekly sales for the group and pursue other affiliations as well.
@juicebeauty, where @gwynethpaltrow holds the title of creative director of makeup, has become one of the foremost labels in the organic beauty category –– with sales on track to hit $100 million this year. What’s behind the rapid growth the brand is experiencing right now? It all started in 2005 when the wellness movement was just getting started. Read more on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty
Stay up to do date with breaking news and trending stories with WWD’s “The Essentialist.” Our newsletter delivers the top news in fashion right to your inbox. Want more info? Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
"I want to tell a story that inspires people to feel good about themselves, but also I'm making a commentary about the lack of female stories and female directors and saying this should change," said @imheathergraham on her latest project "Half Magic." The comedy feature, which the actress wrote and directed, is based on her own struggles as a woman in show business. Read @andrewnodell's full interview with Graham on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
@meltcosmetics cofounders @lora_arellano and @danabomar built their brand on a single idea: a true matte lipstick. To set the brand apart, they said they always put their customers first –– including a personalized note in each package. #wwdsummits #wwdbeauty
@moncler unveiled its latest project, #MonclerGenius, yesterday at Milan Fashion Week. The Italian outwear maker gave show-goers a preview of the monthly collections – which were created by eight designers and creative talents including Pierpaolo Piccioli, Simone Rocha, Craig Green and more – that will start rolling out in the summer.