According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), July’s retail sales were essentially unchanged over June and held steady in July. That being said, retail sales did see a 1.7 per cent increase year-over-year, according to the organization’s calculations.
The report also showed that most retail segments, including sporting goods, general merchandise and building materials, saw reduced spending. However, online and other non-store sales saw an increase of 1.3 per cent seasonally adjusted over the previous month and 10.1 per cent unadjusted year-over-year.
Additionally, sales at clothing and accessories stores decreased 0.5 per cent seasonally adjusted over June, and decreased 1.3 per cent unadjusted over last year.
“While today’s release is weaker than expected, recent job and income gains support the notion that consumers do have the ability to spend, and I suspect that July’s flat performance is transitory and does not signal a slowdown,” says NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. “July’s spending remained at June’s strong level, even though consumers appear to have taken a breather. Retailers continue to suffer from weak pricing, which could in part also explain today’s flat figure.”
While these results relate to the US market, keep them in mind for your business in the coming months. Online and non-store sales are increasing, so consider ramping up the e-commerce portion of your operations to take advantage of these sales. Moreover, with sales declining at accessories stores, contemplate the ways in which you can make your bricks-and-mortar environment more appealing. In-store promotions and sales are always an excellent idea when it comes to boosting traffic to your physical locations.