Holiday shoppers took advantage of deep discounting and early sales to lift retail spending in November, says National Retail Federation (NRF). Retail sales increased 0.6% seasonally-adjusted over October and 3.2% unadjusted over November 2013. Gains were consistent with NRF’s holiday sales forecast, which anticipates an increase of 4.1% over last year. All retail categories witnessed a monthly increase in sales, including clothing and clothing accessories stores, electronics and appliance stores and non-store retailers.
“As we’ve said all along, retailers are optimistic that they will see healthy holiday sales gains this year. November sales results confirm that optimism, and we are steadfast in our belief that we are on track to reach the 4.1% growth in holiday sales that NRF forecasted in October,” asserts NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “It is important to remember that for most retailers, the holiday season is a marathon, not a sprint, and there are plenty of important holiday shopping days ahead of us, including the week leading up to Super Saturday – the day many expect will be the biggest shopping day of the season,” he adds.
“Increasing wages combined with lower gas prices are providing retailers with an early holiday present this year. Every economic indicator is pointing towards a strong holiday season. Healthy November sales should provide momentum for an even stronger December as customers continue to seek out deals all the way to Christmas,” believes NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz.