Chain store sales dropped 1.5% in the week ended Jan. 19, the third consecutive decline, although sales were up 3.2% from a year ago, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Snapshot released Wednesday.

"Sales over the past week were mixed with department, apparel and grocery store business stronger on a year-over-year basis, but discounters, drug, office and furniture store business was weaker," said Michael Niemira, ICSC vice president of research and chief economist. "Despite the weekly declines, the good news is that the year-over-year pace of sales continues to remain robust."

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