NEW YORK CITY-Economic woes are hitting the local mall, as retail comparable-store sales rose a “dismal” 1% in September over the previous year, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers monthly sales index.

The number is the worst September increase since 2001, when the 9/11 attacks and 2001 recession resulted in just a 0.9% rise. In this case, however, the weather was a factor: Wal-Mart, which reported a 2.8% increase, said that 342 of its namesake stores experienced business interruption due to hurricanes, though its Sam’s Club division saw extra sales in those areas from shoppers stocking up on emergency supplies.

“Not surprisingly, the primary story retailers cited for the September sales weakness was the financial crisis and the economy,” wrote Michael Niemira, ICSC chief economist and director of research. “The best performing segments were the value and staples, which is a continuation of the underlying story.”

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