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November chain store sales up 2.1 percent

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NEW YORK, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- The annual U.S. holiday shopping season got underway this month with overall chain store sales rising by 2.1 percent during November.

The International Council of Shopping Centers Inc. said Thursday that consumers continued to shift their shopping patterns to luxury and department stores.

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Overall chain store sales rose in most sectors in November. Leading all sectors were luxury store sales which saw a positive increase, as sales rose 5.1 percent for the month. Department chain stores continued to post healthy results as sales rose 4.6 percent in November.

"Retailers cited three reasons for the results: hurricane-induced replacement demand in the South, pockets of mild weather that curbed seasonal apparel demand and lower gasoline prices, relative to last year, that cut into wholesale clubs which report gasoline sales," said Michael Niemira, ICSC's chief economist and director of research. "Though the 'traditional' kick-off to the holiday shopping season got underway over Thanksgiving weekend and provided some encouragement throughout the industry, November's softness must now be made up over the next month," the council said.

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