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NRF Releases Expected Top Costumes List for Halloween

Fairy Tale Princess costume by Rubie’s Costume Co., Inc.

For the sixth consecutive year, princess costumes will be the No. 1 costume for children this Halloween, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. The NRF’s 2010 Top Costumes survey, conducted by BIGresearch, reports that 4.3 million children will celebrate Halloween dressed as a princess. According to the survey, witches are the preferred adult costume for this year (11.4 percent) and the No. 1 costume for pets is expected to be pumpkins (10.3 percent).

New to the Top Costumes for Children list is Buzz Lightyear (648,000) and Harry Potter characters (459,000). Nearly 1.8 million children will dress as Spider-Man (No. 2), and 1.7 million children will dress as a witch (No. 3).

For adults, vampires will take the No. 2 spot with 2.6 million adults dressing as the characters. Pirates are next on the list at No. 3 with 1.9 million adults. Nurse costumes returned this year at No. 4.

For pets, traditional costumes will reign such as a devil (9.7 percent), a witch (5.1 percent), a hot dog (3.9 percent), and a bee (3.6 percent).

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July Retail Sales Increase Year-Over-Year for Back-to-School Season

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), as back-to-school sales start, retail industry sales for July (excluding automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) increased 3.1 percent unadjusted year-over-year. Retail industry sales also declined 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month.

July retail sales released by the U.S. Commerce Department show that total retail sales (including non-general merchandise categories such as automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) increased 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted from June and increased 5.4 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

Back-to-school related categories also saw year-over-year gains, according to the NRF. Clothing and accessories stores were up 4.7 percent over last July, but declined 0.7 percent from June. Electronics and appliance stores increased 8.1 percent year-over-year and declined 0.1 percent from last month. Furniture and home furnishing stores increased 0.4 percent from the same period a year ago and declined 0.3 percent from June.

A survey conducted by NRF, released in July, found that the average family of students in grades K-12 would spend $594.24 on back-to-school this year, an increase of 8.3 percent compared to $548.72 last year.

Report: Back to School Sales to Increase

According to 2010 sales forecasts, retailers should expect an increase in back-to-school season sales. The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) has predicted a sales increase of 5.4 percent for mid-July through mid-September, as opposed to the decline by .4 percent and 2.8 percent in 2008 and 2009, respectively. ICSC predicts that family clothing will have the strongest increase, at 6.5 percent, followed by electronics at 5 percent.

Additionally, the National Retail Federation’s 2010 Consumer Intentions and Actions Back to School survey, conducted by BIGresearch, found that the average American family will spend $606.40 on clothes, shoes, supplies, and electronics, compared to $548.72 last year and $594.24 in 2008. Total spending on school-aged children is expected to reach $21.35 billion.

The survey also found that spending on clothing, shoes, and electronics will take up the majority of consumer’s budgets, with 44.3 percent of consumers planning to spend more on store or generic brands. Additionally, the survey reported that teenagers are expected to spend slightly more of their own money on back to school items, $31.74 this year compared to $30.88 last year.

Report: April Retail Sales Increase 4.6 Percent in 2010

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), April retail industry sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) increased 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted over March and 4.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year. Sales for March and April, the typical months for Easter purchases, increased 5.6 percent unadjusted over last year.

April statistics released by the U.S. Commerce Department show total retail sales (including non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations, and restaurants) increased 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted over March and 9.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

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The Toy Book’s Toy Report 12/01/09

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Catch up on last week’s news! Read The Toy Book Toy Report for 12/01/09.

To view click here.

More Cyber Monday Shoppers Purchased from Home

According to the National Retail Federation, this year’s Cyber Monday traffic shifted from mid-day hours to early morning and evening hours. The NRF reports that CyberMonday.com, a website by Shop.org that features holiday promotions and sales, had 15.8 million visits on Monday, increasing 8 percent from Cyber Monday 2008.

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NRF: More Black Friday Shoppers, Fewer Dollars Spent

According to the National Retail Federation, more shoppers visited stores and websites over the Black Friday weekend, but average spending per person dropped. The NRF’s Black Friday shopping survey, conducted by BIGResearch, reports that this year Black Friday shoppers totaled approximately 195 million, up from 172 million last year. Average spending per person dropped from $372.57 in 2008 to $343.31 in 2009. The NRF reports that total spending reached approximately $41.2 billion.

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The Toy Book’s Toy Report 11/24/09

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Catch up on last week’s news! Read The Toy Book Toy Report for 11/24/09.

To view click here.

NRF Announces Top 2009 Toys

The National Retail Federation has released its top toys list based on the NRF’s 2009 Top Toys survey. For boys, video games took the top spot for the second year in a row followed by Transformers. Barbie held the number one spot for the sixth year in a row for most popular girl toy, while dolls and Hannah Montana toys followed behind.

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