Chain Store Sales Below Expectations

Retail chain store sales rose modestly during the first week of June as unseasonable weather, and the effect of higher gasoline prices and a weak economy on customers, kept sales below retailer expectations, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and UBS Warburg said on Tuesday.

U.S. chain store sales inched up 0.3 percent for the week ended June 9 after a 0.3 percent rise a week ago, the two firms reported in their Weekly Chain Store Sales Snapshot.

The sales index rose to 393.6 from 392.4 a week earlier. On a year-over-year basis the index rose in the week after five consecutive weekly declines, growing 0.3 percent in the latest period after a -0.1 percent contraction a week ago.

``Sales were described by most retailers as generally below plan for most stores,'' the report said.

BTM said it expects sales for June to increase at a two percent rate, reflecting continued sluggish performance in the industry.

The BTM/UBSW Weekly Chain Store Sales Snapshot is compiled from seven major discount, department and chain stores across the country which report their weekly results. Those stores include J.C. Penney, Sears, Target, Kmart, Wal-Mart, Federated Department Stores Inc. and May Department Stores Co.

The BTM/UBSW index measures sales growth with the year 1977 equaling 100.