For Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba Group Holdings, today is an extremely busy and lucrative day because the company he founded 15 years ...
Total retail sales beat projections, and non-store retail sales increased 12.3%.
Retailers of all stripes should be pleased with consumers’ spending during the November-December holiday sales season. Overall retail sales increased 4.1% from last year to $471.50 billion, according to the National Retail Federation trade group. The growth is slightly more than the 3.8% increase the NRF projected ahead of the 2011 holiday season.
New sales numbers released today by the U.S. Department of Commerce, meanwhile, show that non-store retailer sales accounted for $69.62 billion in retail sales during November and December, up 12.3% from $61.97 billion during the same period a year ago. E-commerce and mail-order sales make up more than 75% of the non-store retailer subsector as defined by the Commerce Department. The Commerce Department bases its sales report on a survey distributed to 5,000 retailers. It will release a more detailed report on Q4 e-retail sales Feb. 16.
ComScore Inc. earlier this month said online shoppers in the United States spent nearly $37.2 billion during the 2011 holiday season, up 15% from the approximately $32.4 billion spent in 2010. The web measurement firm accounted for spending between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, and tracks online purchasing behavior of 2 million consumers.
Consumers spent slightly more money with retailers in November than December, the Commerce Department data reveals. Total retail spending, excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, in November was $248.48 billion compared with $248.14 billion in December. “In a matchup between the final two months of 2011, November clearly wins, but in the end retailers’ promotions struck the right chord for budget-focused holiday shoppers,” says Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist for the NRF.
Sales for the November-December period increased for all major product categories, according to the Commerce Department. Sales at furniture and home furnishings stores increased 5.04% from a year ago, sales at electronics and appliance stores grew 1.91%, clothing and clothing accessories stores increased sales 4.74% and sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores sales increased 2.41%.