Shopping Center Group Cuts Nov. Sales Forecast

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The leading shopping center organization trimmed its sales forecast for November as it released figures Tuesday that confirmed that a strong shopping surge on Friday fizzled dramatically as the first weekend of the holiday shopping season wore on.

The International Council of Shopping Centers (search) said sales at stores open at least a year will be up anywhere from 2.5 percent to 3.0 percent for the month, versus the original forecast of 3 percent to 4 percent.

Meanwhile, ShopperTrak (search), which tallies sales results from 30,000 outlets, reported Tuesday that sales rose a modest 2.9 percent for the three-day weekend, from a year ago. That was down from the robust 10.8 percent increase stores enjoyed on Friday.

The latest data and reduced forecast provided more evidence that the nation's retailers had a modest and unimpressive start to the holiday shopping season.

The shopping centers group said that sales at stores open at least a year, also known as same-store sales, were down 1.5 percent for the week ended Saturday, compared to the previous week. Same-store sales are considered the best indicator of a retailer's health.

Same-stores sales (search) were up a modest 2.4 percent, compared to the year-ago period, the association said.