Back-to-school shopping accelerated U.S. retail sales last month, according to data released today by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).
The ICSC index of chain store sales rose 6% last month, compared to the same time last year. The index also increased 4.6% over July’s reading, MediaPost noted.
Looking forward, the ICSC forecasts a lower sales pace in September, as the school shopping season dwindles. This month’s retail sales should increase between 3% and 4% over last year, the group predicts.
A number of retailers reported rising sales last month.
Discount retailer Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS) saw its sales improve 3.4% in August, compared to last year, while Macy’s (NYSE:M) said its same-store sales rose 5.1% last month. Target (NYSE:TGT) also noted a 4.2% increase in same-store sales in August.
Higher end retailer Nordstroms (NYSE:JWN) posted a 21% sales gain for the month, in part because of an re-scheduled annual sale. Big-box retail chain Costco (NASDAQ:COST) said its sales were up 6% in August, compared to last year.
Clothing retailer Gap (NYSE:GPS) reported same-stores sales up an impressive 9% over last year during August.