Los Angeles 10/7/2010 11:16:20 PM
News / Business

Store Sales For September Higher Than Expected

September figures for store sales were higher than expected, retailers announced Thursday. Shoppers have been doing their bit for the economy and loading up on the many end-of-financial-year discounts, despite the economy still struggling.

Thomson Reuters tracks a group of 28 national chain stores and records same-store sales to show month-by-month comparisons. The expected gain for September was 2.1% but figures calculated at the end of the month show a 2.8% increase. Compared to September last year, which saw a marginal 0.9% increase in same store sales the figures are a positive sign that consumers are out in force.

According to Thomson Reuters, same store figures have risen for 18 months consecutively, which is an important gauge for retailer’s health. Nearly 75% of the stores on the survey gained figures higher than analysts were expecting.

Back-to-school shopping is also thought to have spurred on the spending frenzy, but it can be expected to cool down somewhat in October and November before the holiday shopping season kicks off.

Some analysts were hopeful that the increase in sales augured well for holiday spending, however other have cautioned that sales and discounts were a main reason for spending, that without them, customers are still reluctant to splurge amid the uncertain economic times.

Given this mentality, retailers are expected to offer significant incentives for shoppers to spend in their stores, with a recent survey saying that a majority of holiday shoppers this year will not make a purchase without a discount of 20%.