Retail Sales Grow 7.9 Percent in December

WASHINGTON-U.S. retail sales capped a strong holiday season with a 7.9 percent year-over-year increase in December, totaling $380.9 billion on an adjusted basis, according to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The strong pace, however, did not help retail channels that carry home goods. Sales at furniture and home-furnishings stores advanced just 1.4 percent year over year last month, while sales at general-merchandise stores grew 2.8 percent. Inside the latter category, department stores (excluding leased departments) actually saw their December sales drop 1.3 percent.

Looking at the overall picture, the National Retail Federation said holiday-season sales (November through December) rose 5.7 percent on an unadjusted basis--the biggest gain in holiday sales since 2004 and well ahead of NRF's forecast of a 3.3 percent increase.

"In spite of weakness in employment and rising gas prices, consumers showed they still have spending power which helped retailers when it counted most," said Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer of NRF. "Retailers did a tremendous job planning for the season by managing inventory and hitting the right price points that helped them tap into pent-up demand."

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