Holiday shoppers took advantage of deep discounting and early sales to lift retail spending in November, says the National Retail Federation. Not including automobiles, gasoline stations or restaurants, retail sales increased 0.6% seasonally-adjusted over October and 3.2% unadjusted over November 2013. Gains were consistent with NRF’s holiday sales forecast, which anticipates an increase of 4.1% over last year.
“As we’ve said all along, retailers are optimistic that they will see healthy holiday sales gains this year,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “November sales results confirm that optimism, and we are steadfast in our belief that we are on track to reach the 4.1% growth in holiday sales that NRF forecasted in October. It is important to remember that for most retailers the holiday season is a marathon, not a sprint, and there are plenty of important holiday shopping days ahead of us, including the week leading up to Super Saturday—the day many expect will be the biggest shopping day of the season."
All retail categories witnessed a monthly increase in sales. In particular, health and personal-care stores' retail sales increased 0.8% month-over-month and 4.6% year-over-year. Here are some of the increases found in other retail categories:
- Clothing and clothing-accessories stores: 1.2% month-to-month and 2.5% year-over-year
- General-merchandise stores: 0.5% month-to-month and 2.3% year-over-year
- Online and other nonstore retailers: 1% month-to-month and 6.3% year-over-year
- Sporting goods, hobby, book & music stores: 0.3% month-to-month and 1.3% year-over-year
“Increasing wages combined with lower gas prices are providing retailers with an early holiday present this year,” stated NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. “Every economic indicator is pointing toward a strong holiday season. Healthy November sales should provide momentum for an even stronger December as customers continue to seek out deals all the way to Christmas.”
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