A family shops for holiday toys and decor. | Source: Adobe Stock

Consumers seem to be getting the message that shopping early is a good idea this year.

While selection has varied widely from fully-packed shelves to bare aisles depending on location, consumer demand continues to be high despite the current global supply chain crisis. Both the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Retail Federation (NRF) — which use differing methodology in their calculations — reported retail sales growth in October. Not only were sales stronger than in September, but year-over-year sales spiked 10.8% according to the NRF and 16.3% according to the Census Bureau.

Related: U.S. Toy Industry Sales Spiked 11% in Q3, NPD Says

“Retail sales data for October reflects the enduring strength of consumers’ finances and willingness to spend as the holiday season gets underway,” says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “The robust balance sheets of American households are being met by retailer preparation and hard work to provide products that consumers want at competitive prices. Despite significant challenges including supply chain issues, labor shortages, rising inflation, and OSHA’s impending employer vaccine mandate, retailers are continuing to safely serve consumers online and in stores. Today’s numbers show that consumers are getting a jump on their holiday shopping. We continue to urge consumers to shop early and shop safely, and we fully expect this holiday season to be one for the record books.”

Overall, the NRF believes that this holiday season could see 8.5% to 10.5% growth over last year.

That bodes well for the toy industry as many of the major players have taken action to mitigate supply chain issues.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.