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Same-Store Sales Rise 1.0 Percent in September

ICSC just reported their monthly same-store sales figures. Retailers posted a 1.0 percent gain compared with the same period last year. Considering that a lot of retailers came in negative, this could have been worse. The pool of companies ICSC is pulling from is getting smaller as well. This month's figures include 36 chains. This is reflective of the fact that many retailers have stopped reporting same-store sales figures.

Not surprisingly, the primary story retailers cited for the September sales weakness was the financial crisis and the economy. For example, Gottschalks' chairman and CEO opined that its exceedingly weak "sales for September reflect[ed] the persistent challenges in the macroeconomic environment, which intensified due to unprecedented and mounting events in the financial markets. In light of these events," consumers continued to be very cautious in spending. The best performing segments were the value and staples, which is a continuation of the underlying story.

Wholesale clubs had a collective increase of 7.4% in comparable-store sales in September 2007 versus the same period of the prior year, or up a solid 5.2% excluding fuel sales. The next best performing segment was from the drug stores. Its sales rose by 3.8% y/y in September 2007--about four times the industry average. Luxury stores posted the worst performance of the

sectors tracked, clearly reflecting the financial and economic worry among higher-income households.

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