The ICSC-Goldman Sachs weekly tracking report indicated sales rose 2.5 percent from the same week of 2012 with sales spurred by back-to-school sales tax breaks that were in effect in 12 states during the week.
Cooler weather also helped, pushing consumers to purchase items designed for fall, the trade group said.
"Although the ICSC‐Goldman Sachs channel‐checking survey found a very mixed pattern by retailer type, the survey found healthy business compared with the same week of the prior year for department stores," said Michael Niemira, ICSC vice president of research and chief economist.
"The largest number of state tax holidays to promote back‐to‐school shopping kicked in late in the week and helped to lift weekly sales. In addition, gasoline prices moderated in the past week, helping to provide a little lift for the consumer's discretionary purchasing power," Niemira said in a statement.