Chain store sales fell 4.2% in the week ended January 5, but were 4.0% above year-ago levels, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Snapshot released Tuesday.

"The results were mixed this past week as cold weather helped to drive apparel demand, but those gains were offset by more deep discounts and deep holiday clearance merchandise," said Michael Niemira, ICSC vice president of research and chief economist. "Despite the weekly decline, the overall tone for the pace of sales was solid and strong as it appears the industry is more sustainable than the past three years of the recent recovery."

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