November Chain Sales: Not a Pretty Picture

December 9, 2008
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Black Friday promotions unable to give November sales a lift.

U.S. chain store sales for November 2008 fell by a record 2.7 percent on a year-over-year same-store basis, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers Inc. (ICSC), New York.

“The November retail sales environment was an extremely difficult one with the backdrop of the recession and financial crisis still looming large in the economy,” said Michael P. Niemira, ICSC chief economist and director of research. “With this poor start to the holiday season’s sales - even adjusting for special factors - ICSC Research has trimmed its November-December holiday forecast to flat to down 1 percent.”

Meanwhile, year-over-year cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports fell for the 16th straight month in November, the Washington, D.C.-based National Retail Federation (NRF) said, leaving 2008 on track to be the slowest year since 2004.

“As retailers face the most challenging holiday season in years, they are being careful with their inventory levels, and that means lower volume at the ports,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF’s vice president for supply chain and customs policy.

Our Take: Santa might be cutting down on his holiday shopping list, but he’ll still be buying something to fill those holiday stockings. This holiday season brings the perfect opportunity for private label displays that tempt Santa - and fit his tight budget.

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