(December 27, 2006)--It really was crowded in the stores on the final days before Christmas, but it wasn't quite what retailers had in mind, according to a pair of reports out Wednesday.
For the week that ended Saturday, the International Council of Shopping Centers has same-store sales climbing two-percent from the week before.
Their chief economist now places same-store sales growth at the low end of his range of two and a-half to three percent.
Michael Niemira had already reduced that figure.
He says factors like mild weather in much of the US make it tough to read the tea leaves on this holiday season.
Niemira is counting on gift card redemptions this week to help salvage sales figures.
Also Wednesday, ShopperTrak says sales at the stores it monitors increased about five percent last week, leading them to believe this season's sales likely won't meet their five-percent growth forecast.