Goldman Sachs: A Late Mall Surge May Have Salvaged The Holiday Season

The generl consensus is that november retail sales, including Black Friady and subsequent days, were something of a flop.

But maybe consumers were just sitting on their hands. Maybe.

Goldman Sachs retail analyst Michelle Tan thinks there’s reason to believe that December may have salvaged the season, as shoppers returned to malls.


GS/ICSC Weekly Sales Index: Pickup last week from last minute
Holiday shopping

The ICSC Weekly Index is a long-standing, proprietary statistical measure compiled by the
International Council of Shopping centres, now in collaboration with Goldman Sachs. The
• Incorporates data from broadlines and mall-based retailers, past weekly spending
patterns and a weekly shopper survey. 
The raw yoy change in the index closely correlates with monthly same-store sales results
(Exhibit 4), while the seasonally adjusted data smoothes out fluctuations due to calendar
shifts, weather, and other extraneous factors to offer a better picture of the underlying
health of retail sales.


Month to date, the raw GS/ICSC index is +2.5%, above November which averaged
+1.0%. After seasonal adjustment, the GS/ICSC adjusted index was +2.3% last week,
well above the prior week but below November (which averaged +2.9%). 

Mall traffic, in particular, is clearly picking up.

December-to-date mall traffic still above November 
Weekly mall traffic is tracked by ShopperTrak using a proprietary traffic projection
methodology. The SRTI Enclosed Mall Index captures traffic from a sample of enclosed
malls and projects it to the total base of enclosed malls. The correlation between year-on-
year changes in the SRTI Mall Traffic Index and our comp sales indices is low, partly
because mall traffic does not reflect changes in conversion trends. Notwithstanding this,
over time there is some relationship between directional changes in year-on-year mall
traffic and comp sales of mall-based apparel retailers and department stores. Month to
date, mall traffic is +1.2% compared to the November average of -1.6%. 

mall retail

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