Retail sales inch up in November, on par with expectations
In line with National Retail Federation’s holiday sales forecast, retail sales rose slightly in November as shoppers got their holiday shopping started.
“Deep discounting and early sales,” NRF noted, helped lift retail spending in the month by 0.6% seasonally-adjusted over October and 3.2% unadjusted over November 2013, not including automobiles, gasoline stations or restaurants.
All retail categories experienced a monthly increase in sales, including furniture and home furnishing stores, which posted a 0.5% increase month-to-month but a 0.4% decline year-over-year.
NRF’s holiday sales forecast , anticipates an increase of 4.1% over last year for the fuly holiday selling season.
“As we’ve said all along, retailers are optimistic that they will see healthy holiday sales gains this year,” said Matthew Shay, NRF president and ceo. “November sales results confirm that optimism…Consumer trends show that the shopping experience continues to evolve for both retailers and consumers. Shoppers this holiday season are seizing opportunities to take advantage of early promotions and showing signs they may wait until the end of the season when promotions are even greater.”
He added that Super Saturday – Dec. 20 – is when “many expect will be the biggest shopping day of the season.”
Improved wages and lower gas prices are boosting consumers’ willingness to spend, according to 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,” he said.
Source: Home & Textiles Today