Retail Sales Gain in April

WASHINGTON-U.S. retail sales totaled $419 billion in April, up 0.1 percent from March and 3.7 percent from April 2012, according to this morning's monthly retail sales report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Looking at the retail channels that sell home furnishings, sales at furniture and home furnishings stores were flat compared to March and rose 3.9 percent over last year's April. General merchandise stores registered a 1 percent gain month over month, but declined 0.7 percent from last year. Department-store sales (excluding leased departments) were up 0.3 percent from March but down 3.6 percent from April of last year.

The National Retail Federation said April retail sales showed positive trends owing to improved employment numbers, increased housing prices and the acceleration of the stock market. Matthew Shay, NRF's president and CEO, said, "Despite colder spring weather and an early Easter, consumers shopped in April, demonstrating an inherent resiliency even as the economy faces serious headwinds, including stagnant job and wage growth."

Jack Kleinhenz, NRF's chief economist, added that the association is predicting moderate retail sales growth for the year as a whole. Noting that today's Census Bureau report is "encouraging news," Kleinhenz cautioned that "retail sales and consumer spending in April may not necessarily translate into a stronger or healthier second quarter."

HFN Staff | News & Commentary

HFN provides detailed information on the key home classifications: Housewares, Tabletop, Floor Covering & Rugs, Furniture, Home Textiles, Lighting, Home Decor, Mattresses & Bedding, Gifts, Major Appliances and Consumer Electronics as well as Business, Finance and Retail.


Subscribe to
HFN Omnichannel
Receive the news you need to know about the trends in the industry delivered right to your inbox.

Current Issue

  • HFN May digital issue


    May 2017

    COVER STORY: HFN Turns 90

    We commemorate HFN's 90th anniversary by paying tribute to the iconic retailer and supplier brands--and the people--that have helped the industry flourish, then and now.


    • Up & Coming Leaders - The home industry is in capable and visionary hands as this year’s 40 Under 40 list attests. Today’s young leaders span all disciplines and varied levels of operation.
    • Omnichannel Retailing - In the Mobile App World, Time is Money