Source: Alex –

The cash register bells were ringing, but not as much as some may have hoped.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the 2022 November-December holiday season saw overall U.S. retail sales spike 5.3% over the same period in 2021. The $936.3 billion tally fell short of the NRF’s forecast due to continuing inflation.

While the holiday season fell short of projections, total U.S. retail sales grew 7% versus 2021 to $4.9 trillion.

“The last two years of retail sales have been unprecedented, and no one ever thought it was sustainable,” says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Nonetheless, we closed out 2022 with impressive annual retail sales and a respectable holiday season despite historic levels of inflation and interest rate hikes to cool the economy. Consumers shopped in record numbers and retailers delivered positive holiday experiences to inflation-wary consumers, offering great products at more promotional price levels to fit their stretched budgets. The fact that we saw retail sales growth on top of December’s 14% gain in 2022 shows the resilience of consumers and the creativity of retailers in driving consumption and economic activity while addressing high inflation and continued cost pressures.”

Related: Stay on the Pulse of Play with ‘The BIG Toy Book’ in 2023

While the NRF does not track the toy industry, specifically, it notes that of its tracked categories, only furniture & home furnishings and electronics & appliances experienced year-over-year declines.

The NPD Group is expected to unveil Q4 and full-year U.S. toy industry performance numbers later this month.

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.