Santa Comes Early For Retailers As November Sales Rise 5.1%

santa_clausWASHINGTON D.C., Dec 13, 2007 / — As numbers roll in for November, solid figures emerge for retailers with sales rising to 5.1% last month, according to the latest statistics from the National Retail Federation.

Black Friday and other holiday promotions were simply too good to pass up as November sales show strength in consumer spending, says the NRF, to explain the good results.

November retail sales released today by the U.S. Commerce Department show total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) increased 1.2 percent seasonally adjusted from last month and 6.9 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

“Consumers started the holiday shopping season with a bang – taking advantage of significant deals,” said NRF Chief Economist Rosalind Wells. “Though November sales were strong, consumers have saved plenty of holiday shopping for December.”

In fact, according to an NRF survey conducted by BIGresearch, the average person had completed just 36.4 %of their shopping by the end of November.

The strongest growth was seen by sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores where unadjusted sales grew 11.3 percent year-over-year and 2.2 percent seasonally adjusted from October.

November retail sales also grew in many other areas. Eager consumers lined sidewalks at many retail establishments over Black Friday weekend to get their hands on discounted electronics and apparel items. Electronics stores sales grew 6.1 percent unadjusted from last year and 2.5 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month; clothing and clothing accessories stores sales rose a very strong 8.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year and 2.6 percent from last month.

Furniture and home furnishing stores sales also benefited from consumers stocking up on holiday items. Sales in those stores rose 2.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year and 1.0 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month.

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