NEW YORK - Superstorm Sandy knocked off nearly $4 billion of retail sales last week in the hard-hit Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region, nearly 20 percent of the usual total, according to a figures released Tuesday by a retail data service. MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse says Tuesday that the region, which accounts for about 24 percent of retail sales nationwide, typically generates $18.7 billion in sales for the week ended Saturday. But revenue came in at about $15 billion.
"This was a significant negative event for the region," said Michael McNamara, vice president of research and analysis for SpendingPulse, which monitors all types of spending, including cash. That dragged down the nationwide sales total for the week ended Saturday. Nationwide, retailers typically generates $78 billion in sales for that particular week, but McNamara, estimates the total ended up being about $74 billion.