Retail Sales Edge Up in November
WASHINGTON-November sales at the nation's retailers totaled $399.3 billion, up 0.2 percent over October and 6.7 percent ahead of November 2010, according to numbers released this morning by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The retail channels that sell home products had a slow month. Sales at furniture and home furnishings stores rose 0.4 percent over October and 4.4 percent year over year. At general merchandise stores, sales increased 0.3 percent over October and 2.7 percent over November of last year. Sales at department stores (excluding leased departments) were 0.3 percent ahead of October but were down 3 percent from November 2010.
Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation, called November's results "a strong start to the holiday season." Shay added, however, that "the real test" will come this month, in which most spending for the holidays occurs. "Retailers have been working all year to make sure that the last two weeks before Christmas deliver the promotions and value that today's shoppers expect," he said.
NRF has forecast that this year's holiday sales will rise 2.8 percent above last year.