Shopping center group cuts sales forecast, sign that retailers started holiday season modestly

Monday, November 29th 2004, 10:23 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ A shopping center group trimmed its sales forecast for November on Tuesday, adding more evidence that the Thanksgiving weekend's robust beginning faded dramatically for retailers by the end.

The International Council of Shopping Centers said sales at stores open at least a year will be up from 2 1/2 percent to 3 percent for the month, versus the original forecast of 3 percent to 4 percent.

Meanwhile, ShopperTrak, which tallies sales results from 30,000 outlets, reported Tuesday that sales rose a modest 2.9 percent for the three-day weekend, compared with a year ago. That was down from the robust 10.8 percent increase stores enjoyed Friday.

The latest data and reduced forecast provided more evidence that the nation's retailers had a modest and unimpressive start to the holiday shopping season.

For the week ending Saturday, same-stores sales were up a modest 2.4 percent, compared with a year ago, the shopping center group said.