By  on December 31, 2013

Last-minute holiday shoppers elevated sales to their strongest increase of the month last week, with gift cards playing a critical role.

According to the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index, sales in retail categories other than restaurants and automotive areas were up 3 percent during the week ended Dec. 28, versus the year-ago week, better than the 2.7 percent increase logged during the prior week or the 2 and 1.5 percent gains logged during the second and first weeks of the month, respectively.

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