December 20, 2004

Retail Sales and Traffic are Weak

Retailers are starting to get nervous as the AP reports store traffic has been weak. The Chief economist of the International Council of Shopping Centers said, "We are not getting the kind of lift we need. Traffic and sales were below expectations." This firm tracks the sales figures for 30,000 retail stores. Total sales on Saturday was down 7 percent vs. the same day last year. Luxury stores have out-performed the middle and working class stores this Christmas as discount shoppers got hit with higher oil and heating costs. Moreover there hasn't been a "must have" item this Christmas, especially since there is a Playstation 2 hardware shortage.