Same-store sales at U. S. chain stores for the month of May increased 2.5 percent, according to the index of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Wholesale clubs showed the biggest increase in May sales, averaging 6.5 percent. Coming in second were drugstores, averaging a 5.3-percent increase for the month.
Department stores saw sales grow by 2.2 percent in May, and discounters realized a 1.7-percent average gain for the month. On the down side, sales at apparel chain stores dropped by 0.6 percent in May.
“While it was a mixed story for the nation’s retailers, May’s sales rebound confirmed that the April sales tumble was largely an anomaly and not a sign of a more severe pullback in consumer spending,” said ISCS chief economist Michael P. Niemira. “The demand softness that is present this year vs. last is largely a direct or indirect consequence of the residential housing market weakness.” Niemira expects same-store sales will increase between 2 percent and 2.5 percent this month.