Lagging auto business drives retail sales down
December 2, 2002,
With lagging car sales acting as a drag, retail sales were virtually flat in October, slipping a skimpy 0.1 percent, to a seasonally adjusted level of $273.8 billion.
Indeed, the long battered apparel category spiked up by 4.0 percent during October, jumping back to life after languishing for months.
Underlining the strength of October's retail uptick — excluding the volatile auto sector — eight of the 12 retail categories tracked by Home Textiles Today each month posted gains, while only four declined.
The biggest winner was clearly apparel, with its 4.0 percent increase; followed by gas stations at 1.5 percent, a number frequently skewed not so much by demand as by fluctuation in gas prices. Department stores, chains and discounters enjoyed something of a comeback after a long dry spell, their sales climbing higher by 1.2 percent Non-store retailers had another good month, their sales jumping up by 1.4 percent.
Home goods categories were something of a mixed bag last month. Furniture and home furnishings stores were slightly off, by 0.1 percent, while electronics and appliances outlets gained by 0.1 percent. Building material and garden supplies stores were still rolling along on a fast track, gaining by 0.5 percent, following an even bigger gain of 1.8 percent in September.
Retail Sales in October (by channel)
|Source: U.S. Department of Commerce
|Clothing & accessories||+4.0%|
|Department stores & discounters||+1.2|
|Building materials & garden supplies||+0.5|
|Health & personal care||+0.4|
|Restaurants & bars||-0.8|
|Furniture & home furnishings||-0.1|
|Sporting goods, hobby, books & music||-0.1|
Related Content By Author
Live From New York: Fashion Comes Across the Pond
Home & Textiles Today eDaily
Most Viewed Articles
See the September 2017 issue of Home & Textiles Today. In this issue, we look at the Attack of the Killer Third Tier: Monster off-pricers are climbing to the top of the food chain, plus New Products: 40 pages of new products debuting at the New York Home Fashions Market; Home Stores: TJX unveils first U.S. HomeSense store; Clicks to Bricks: Boll & Branch moves from digital to physical retailing; and much more...