According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales results, as compiled by the United States Census Bureau, increased 3.8% to $601.8 billion. With furniture and health and personal care stores among the examples of better year-over-year performance, December retail sales increased 0.4% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 4.6% unadjusted year-over-year, excluding automobile dealership, gas station and restaurant revenues.
NRF noted that the holiday figures were in line with, if just short of, its forecast of 3.9% and $602.1 billion. The organization added that non-store holiday sales, which incorporates online and E-commerce revenues, grew 9.3% to $95.7 billion.
“Despite facing a truncated holiday season, severe weather, and shaky consumer confidence, retailers rose to the challenge and executed their strategies with proven success,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said in discussing the holiday and December figures. “Today’s holiday sales numbers are a testament to a resilient industry that knows what their customers want, when they want it and how they want to get it. Considering that retail sales are an important barometer when measuring the overall health of our national economy, this report provides a level of true optimism that the recovery is picking up steam, and, once again, retail leads the way.”
Overall December retail sales, which include the categories automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants, increased 0.2% seasonally adjusted month-to-month, and 4.1% adjusted year-over-year.
By channel in December, as reported by NRF:
- Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealer store sales slipped 0.4% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month yet increased 4.2% unadjusted year-over-year.
- Clothing and clothing accessories store sales gained 1.8% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 4.7% unadjusted year-over-year.
- Electronics and appliance stores sales slid 2.5% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 1.5% unadjusted year-over-year.
- Furniture and home furnishing store sales fell 0.4% seasonally adjusted month-to-month yet increased 5% unadjusted year-over-year.
- General merchandise store sales came in flat seasonally adjusted month-to-month as well as unadjusted year-over-year.
- Health and personal care store sales increased 0.6% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 5.9 % unadjusted year-over-year.
- Nonstore retailer sales increased 1.4% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 14% unadjusted year-over-year.
- Sporting goods, hobby, book and music store sales decreased 0.6 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month but gained 5.8% unadjusted year-over-year.