Easter helped retailers end March on a high note as consumer shopped for holiday items.
Weekly sales rose by 3.8 percent for the week ending March 31, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs’ Weekly Chain Store Sales Index. The pace of retail sales on a year-over-year basis also finished on a strong note as they rose by 4.2 percent.
“March finished on a strong note as the earlier Easter holiday (April 8, 2012 vs. April 24, 2011) gave consumers an incentive to shop for holiday-related items, as well as, helped to strengthen seasonal demand,” Michael Niemira, International Council of Shopping Centers vice president of research and chief economist, stated in a news release
He stated that the International Council of Shopping Centers expects that comp-store sales will increase between 3 percent to 5. percent for the industry when retailers report their monthly sales results on Thursday.
Same-store, or comp, sales are based on sales in stores open for the previous 12 months and are a main metric used to evaluate a retailer’s strength.