Retailers Into 2006 April 1st, 2006
The 2005 holiday season extended into January for many retailers, as consumers flooded stores for record sales, the National Retail Federation reported to retail executives.
Retail industry sales for January increased 7.6 percent over 2005 figures, and rose 2.0 percent seasonally adjusted over December 2005, according to NRF. Figures did not include automobile, gas station or restaurant sales reports.
“The spectacular growth we saw in January was an unexpected surprise for the industry,” said NRF Chief Economist Rosalind Wells. “While our 2006 outlook for the retail industry remains cautious, consumers responded well to the popularity of gift cards, mild winter weather and aggressive clearance sales. We expect to see a continuation of the heavily promotional environment.”
January retail sales released by the U.S. Commerce Department show that total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations, and restaurants) rose 2.3 percent seasonally adjusted from December and increased 8.9 percent unadjusted year-over-year, NRF reported.
“There was strong year-over-year sales growth across most retail categories in January. The impressive showing came from building material and garden equipment and supply dealers. Consumers are not quite finished investing in their homes as sales in this category increased a staggering 17.6 percent year-over-year,” NRF reported.Key sections included:
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