NRF: September strength in sales "encouraging" for holiday 2010
HTT Staff -- Home Textiles Today, 10/15/2010 11:22:53 AM
Washington D.C. - Buoyed by the 0.4% increase in September retail industry sales, excluding automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants, the National Retail Federation said today it was encouraged about the prospects for this holiday selling season, even as consumers are keen on discounts.
"There's no question that the industry is in a much better state than this time last year, however consumers are still very reliant on sales and promotions,," said Matthew Shay, NRF president and ceo. "It is encouraging to see increases in key discretionary spending categories, marking a significant change in what retailers experienced throughout the economic downturn."
September's 0.4% sales increases is seasonally adjusted over August and 4.3% unadjusted over last year.
More good news: The retail sales released today by the U.S. Commerce Department for last month show total retail sales - which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants - increased 0.6% seasonally adjusted over August and 7.7% unadjusted year-over-year.
"September retail sales show that the economy is continuing to grow, even though it remains at a subpar pace," said Jack Kleinhenz, NRF chief economist. "Given the stubbornly high unemployment and other challenges that families are facing today, these increases are still quite impressive."
Sales at furniture and home furnishing stores increased 0.5% seasonally adjusted and 2.9% unadjusted year-over-year. Health and personal care stores sales showed strength as well, with an increase of 0.5% seasonally adjusted over August and 3.9% unadjusted year-over-year.
With the onset of the fall season, building material and garden equipment stores "definitely got their share of traffic." Sales at these stores increased 0.6% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 6.0% unadjusted over last year. Electronics and appliance stores also saw strong gains, with sales increasing 1.5% seasonally adjusted from the previous month and 5.7% unadjusted year-over-year.
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