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.”
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.