NRF Forecasts Increase in Holiday Retail Sales

According to a new report by the National Retail Federation (NRF), holiday retail sales are expected to increase 2.3 percent this year to $447.1 billion. Last year holiday sales increased 0.4 percent compared to 2008. In 2008, holiday sales declined 3.9 percent compared to 2007. The NRF reports that retailers are expected to focus on inventory control to limit unplanned markdowns. The NRF also expects new channels, such as mobile, to drive sales and provide added service.

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: 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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Report: Retail Container Traffic to Increase 10 Percent in May

According to the latest monthly Global Port Tracker report, released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates, import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to be up 10 percent in May, and double-digit increases are expected moving into the fall.

In March, the latest month for which actual numbers are available, U.S. ports handled 1.07 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU), a 7-percent increase compared to February, and a 12-percent increase compared to March 2009. One TEU is one 20-foot cargo container or its equivalent. March was also the fourth month in a row to show a year-over-year improvement.

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NRF: Shoppers to Spend Less on Gift Cards

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), holiday shoppers plan to spend less on gift cards and recipients can expect cards with lower monetary values. The study by the NRF, part of the 2009 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, reported that holiday shoppers will spend an average of $139.91 per person, compared to $147.33 last year.  The average value per card, stated the survey, would be $39.80, compared to $40.54 in 2008.

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Discounts Most Important Factor for Holiday Shoppers Says Survey

Holiday shoppers are expected to spend an average of $22.27 dollars less than last year, a 3.2 percent drop, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2009 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey. According to the survey, price discounts (43.3 percent) and everyday low prices (12.7 percent) will be the most important factors when decided where to shop. Other factors include selection (21 percent), quality (11.8 percent), convenience (4.9 percent), and customer service (4.4 percent).

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