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Christmas Sales At Local Malls Better Than Expected

A surprising 2.1% increase in sales compared to 2000 is registered


January 17, 2002
Copyright © 2002 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Local shopping mall executives were surprised by Christmas sales that were somewhat better than expected.

While many were expecting mainly lower or equal sales in comparison to last Christmas season due to the weak economy, mall sales turned out to be equal or a bit higher than last year.

According to data reported by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), which tracked sales at more than 4,000 specialty stores in 80 regional malls across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, sales increased 2.1% in comparison to the 2000 holiday season. The main categories analyzed in ICSC’s report are: apparel; food service; footwear; home furnishings and furniture; music, video, and home entertainment; stationery, cards, and books; and toys and sporting goods.

This is more or less in line with what the National Retail Federation (NRF) had expected for the fourth quarter of 2001. The NRF estimated in October that sales in general merchandise, apparel, furniture, home furnishings, electronics & appliance stores would increase 2.2% in comparison to the previous year.

"We were all just expecting a catastrophe in sales and were very happy to see that it didn’t turn out that way. Results were actually better than we expected, even if they remained flat," said Lorraine Vissepo, director of communications and public relations of Empresas Fonalledas, the company that owns Plaza Las Americas and Plaza Del Caribe.

Valerie Castro, ICSC Puerto Rico operations chair & marketing manager of PMI Inc., said that November mall traffic was comparable to that of the previous year. "Considering the events of the year, I would say we did well," she added.

Mall tenants were also satisfied. "Sears did better than expected although sales were not consistent throughout the season," said Carlos Raffols, advertising manager at Sears.

Vissepo said that tenants at both Plaza Las Americas and Plaza del Caribe were very happy with the way sales turned out. "Everyone made their numbers," she said.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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