January Retail Levels Up, Home Furnishings Strong
By Staff -- Home Textiles Today, 2/20/2006 12:00:00 AM
Washington — —
Washington — Bulking up virtually across the board, with almost every single channel putting up hefty gains, overall retail sales jumped up by 2.3% in January as consumers flocked to the malls to sniff out bargains and cash in their gift cards.
Emphasizing how gift cards and post-holiday shopping have tilted the axis of holiday retailing, shifting sales from December into January, the January increase of 2.3% dwarfed a December sales gain of just 0.4%.
Not surprisingly in an era of rising gas prices, the single biggest gainer during January was gas stations, where prices at the pump drove sales up by 5.5%. Not far behind was clothing and accessories, a channel that has a tough time selling at full price, but which racked up a hefty 4.2% increase when the merchandise hit the clearance table.
Home-related categories were strong performers as well, with furniture and home furnishings stores gaining by 3.7%, volume in building material and garden supply chains climbing by 3.4% and electronics and appliances business growing by 2.0%.
And consumers must have been celebrating their bargains, using their savings to party, since sales at restaurants and bars jumped up by 3.2%.
Retail Sales in January
|Source: U.S. Department of Commerce
|Clothing & accessories||4.2|
|Furn. & home furnishings||3.7|
|Restaurants & bars||3.2|
|Electronics & appliances||2.0|
|Sporting goods, books||1.5|
|Health & personal care||1.4|
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