NRF: October sales show retailers ‘still not out of the woods’
November 16, 2009,
Washington – Retail industry sales last month fell 1.3% compared to a year ago and were flat when seasonally adjusted from September, according to the National Retail Federation.
October retail sales released today by the U.S. Commerce Department show total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) rose 1.4% from September but fell 1.7% compared to October 2008.
Categories related to the home were universally off. Furniture and home furnishing stores were down 0.8% seasonally adjusted for the month-to-month and down 7.6% year-over-year. Building material, garden equipment and supplies stores dropped 2.4% from September and declined 16.6% from same period a year ago.
Categories showing the most life scored only modest gains. Clothing and clothing accessories stores rose 0.4% seasonally adjusted from the previous month and 3.6% unadjusted year-over-year. Health and personal care were up 0.5% seasonally adjusted from the previous month and up 3.8% unadjusted from October 2008. Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores saw a monthly sales decline of 1.2% seasonally adjusted, but increased a solid 3.0% unadjusted year-over-year.
NRF reaffirmed its holiday forecast of a 1.0% decline in sales. The association defines the holiday season as November and December.
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