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NEW YORK CITY-Retailers’ same-store sales were hindered by abnormally warm weather in October that cut the demand for winter apparel. This led to a 1.6% increase in same-store sales year over year – the worst performance by chain stores since March – according to an International Council of Shopping Centers’ survey.

Apparel chains suffered the most as a result of the climate, falling 5.2% as a group. Chico’s FAS plunged 10.6%, while Gap Inc. and Cato Corp. both fell 8%. Ross Stores fared the best in the survey but still slid 1%.

On the department-store side, even luxury was hit. Nordstrom, which had a monthly average increase of 5.8%, dropped 2.4%. The chains as a whole fell 1.7%, with the largest department-store outfit, Macy’s Inc., dropping 2%.

:Wholesale clubs did not seem negatively impacted by the weather and recorded a 5.8% gain. Costco posted a strong 7% rise, followed by a 4.8% increase at BJ’s Wholesale and a 4.2% gain at Sam’s Club.

Discounters were mixed, inching up 0.9%. Target rose 4.1% and TJX Cos. was up 3%, but Wal-Mart and Family Dollar both reported flat results.

ICSC’s research team predicts a 2.5% increase by chains overall this month, as weather is turning colder.

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