Retail Sales Surge in November

Census BureauWASHINGTON-The onset of the holiday shopping season brought a boost to the U.S. retail economy last month. Total retail sales rose 0.7 percent over October and finished 4.7 percent ahead of November 2012, according to this morning's report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Among the retail channels that sell home goods, furniture and home furnishings stores posted gains of 1.2 percent month over month and 9.7 percent year over year. General merchandise stores' sales were 0.1 percent over October and 1.2 percent greater than November of last year. Department stores (excluding leased departments) reported an increase of 0.3 percent over October and a 2.6 percent sales decline compared to last year's November.

In its analysis of November sales, The Conference Board characterized consumer spending in November as "selective" (with the exception of auto dealers and auto parts dealers, whose sales jumped 1.8 percent ahead of October and 10.2 percent over last November). The board said consumers are winding down paying off old debt but remain cautious about buying big-ticket items (other than necessity-driven car purchases) in a still-slow economy. "Retailers, saddled with overstocked inventory, are likely to resort once more to discounting in order to overcome this consumer caution," the board said.

Noting that consumers are showing a willingness to spend during this holiday season, Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist of the National Retail Federation, said retailers will continue to compete with each other through the balance of the season with promotions and deals. Kleinhenz added that this morning's report "bodes well for a solid holiday sales season and may provide the foundation for accelerating economic growth and momentum in the New Year.

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.

Videos

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

    HFN's DIGITAL EDITION

    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.


    ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:

    • 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