NRF says holidays ended on high note with 1.1% increase

Washington – The National Retail Federation called retailers’ collective 1.1% gain in sales to $446.8 billion in November and December “the best Christmas gift of all,” considering the organization had originally projected a 1% decline.

“After a year that saw holiday sales decrease by 3.4%, retailers bounced back in 2009,” noted the NRF, which added that retail industry sales -- excluding automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants -- for December rose 2.3% unadjusted year-over-year and fell just 0.5% seasonally adjusted from November.

"With an eye on managing inventory and maintaining lower price points, retailers did a tremendous job of planning for the holiday season," said Rosalind Wells, NRF chief economist. "While the consumer appears to be spending again, double digit unemployment numbers will remain an impediment to maintaining this momentum."

Nonetheless, aspects of the home business suffered during the two-month stretch over the holidays. The weak housing market continued to impact the sale of home furnishings in December with sales of furniture and home furnishing stores decreasing 3.5% though increasing a slight 0.3% from the previous month.

Better off were other categories, especially apparel, which was “a big driver for retailers” as clothing and clothing accessories stores for December increased 7.0% year-over-year and dipped 0.6% from November. Sporting goods, hobby, and book & music stores also performed well with December sales increasing 3.9% from last year and up 1.6% month-to-month. Health and personal care stores continue to be a bright spot in retail with year-over-year December sales increasing 4.8% and monthly gains of 0.8%.

Home & Textiles Today Staff | News & Commentary

 Home Textiles Today is the market-leading brand covering the home and textiles markets, offering a comprehensive package of print and online products. Home & Textiles Today provides industry news, product trends and introductions, exclusive industry research, consumer data, store operations solutions, trade show news and much more.

Featured Video

  • Live From New York: Fashion Comes Across the Pond

    Camera Icon More Videos

Subscribe to
Home & Textiles Today eDaily
Receive the news you need to know about the trends in the industry delivered right to your inbox.


HTT Current issue for September 2017

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... See details!