Chain store sales fell 0.7% in the week ended October 20, while rising to a 2.9% year-over-year gain, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Snapshot released Tuesday.

"Last week retailers saw conflicting influences affecting consumers that resulted in sales weaker sequentially, but a tad stronger over the year," said Michael Niemira, ICSC vice president of research and chief economist. "Weather was warm--and held back seasonal demand--but gasoline prices dropped appreciably from the prior week--which was good news for the consumers' pocketbook. It was encouraging that even as warm weather prevailed throughout the country, consumers still seemed to shop more at apparel and department stores," Niemira added.

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