Chain store sales were up 0.1% in the final week of October and 2.0% in the month, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Snapshot released Tuesday.

“Overall customer traffic improved relative to a year ago as Halloween shopping for candy and costumes was a sales driver at drug stores, discounters, dollar stores, wholesale clubs and even traditional grocery stores business,” said Michael Niemira, director of research and chief economist at ICSC.

“But warm seasonal weather across a large portion of the nation continued to pare down sales at apparel and department stores overall,” according to Niemira.

“With the fiscal month ending this past week, ICSC Research anticipates that year-over-year comparable-store sales growth will increase by 2.0% to 2.5%, industry-wide when retailers report their sales on Thursday,” he added.

In a separate report, retail sales rose 2.6% to date in October compared to last year, while in the final week of the month sales grew 2.5%, according to the Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index.

Sales were 0.2% better than in ­September.

“Halloween business was on target according to most retailers, boosting volume at those stores which cater to it, but also keeping shoppers away from stores which don’t,” the report said.

“In addition, a massive windstorm disrupted traffic and business across the Midwest in the middle of the week. With Halloween falling one day later this year versus last year, some sales will be shifted to this week,” according to Johnson Redbook. “Meanwhile, holiday merchandise is beginning to be displayed in stores as retailers are promoting earlier than usual.”

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.