Strong Start to the Holiday Shopping Season Gives November Retail Sales a Boost

Dec 14, 2010, 10:21 ET from Retail Industry Leaders Association

ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 14, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- America's retailers saw their fifth straight month of sales gains in November according to figures released today by the U.S. Department of Commerce.  Increased consumer confidence has resulted in what is expected to be the strongest holiday shopping season in recent years, noted the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).

Monthly retail sales figures for November were up 0.8 percent over October and 7.7 percent over November 2009.  Retail sales excluding auto sales were up 1.2 percent over the previous month and 6.7 percent over November 2009.  

Overall retail sales gains in November were bolstered by strong sales among clothing retailers, department stores and sporting goods retailers, each experiencing increases of 2.3 percent or more.  Year-over-year growth in the retail sector was remarkable in November with home improvement and sporting goods retailers each exceeding November 2009 sales by more than 12 percent.

"Growing consumer confidence and a successful opening to the holiday shopping season undoubtedly helped bolster store traffic and spending in November," said RILA President Sandy Kennedy. "The cheerfulness on display around the retail industry is not only a symptom of the holiday spirit, but an indication of optimism as consumers appear eager to get back in the game."

Retailers went into the holiday season with a cautious attitude looking to earn shoppers business and employing a variety of strategies to do so.  Among those strategies are on-line and mobile promotional and marketing techniques, as well as value-focused product assortments and financing options, including layaway.

"While the broader economy, particularly high unemployment, remains a challenge, five consecutive months of retail sales growth has proven the adjustments retailers have made to appeal to the budget conscious consumer is working and optimism is well-justified," added Kennedy.  

RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

SOURCE Retail Industry Leaders Association