Home goods retailers prospered while apparel retailers suffered as weekly sales registered their third consecutive week of lower sequential sales.
According to the The Retail Economic LLC — Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index, sales for the week ended May 16 were down 1.2 percent on a sequential basis while rising 2.3 percent over the comparable week in 2014. The results were similar to those of the prior week, when sequential sales fell 1.7 percent and year-on-year sales rose 2.1 percent.
“Housing-related retail — furniture and home-improvement retailers — again tended to drive the industry over the past week,” said Michael Niemira, chief economist and principal of The Retail Economist. “Weather was not so favorable in part of the United States over the past week, which may have contributed to the weakness in some retail segments, such us at apparel stores.”
Joining apparel retailers among the weaker performers were grocery and electronics stores and wholesale clubs, while dollar and department stores showed negligible improvement. Office, discount, online-only, drug and office stores experienced moderate improvement.
The index came in at 573.6 last week, its lowest mark since a 559.8 mark the week ended March 21.
Temperatures were on average 1 degree warmer than in the 2014 week, but instances of inclement weather, ranging from snow in some northern locations to flooding rains in the South, worked against those interested in shopping during the seven days, according to Weather Trends International.
While gasoline prices remain 25.1 percent lower, on average, than their year-ago level, prices picked up about 5.3 cents a gallon.