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Retail Minute: Total Retail Sales Up

Growing retail sales coupled with the lowest inflationary growth are a bright spot within consumer spending.

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Elizabeth Lafontaine, chief retail analyst here at Retail Leader Pro, and welcome to this week’s Retail Minute

The Census Bureau released its numbers for advance monthly retail sales and January continues the trend of softening sales overall.

According to Census Data, total retail sales, including foodservice and retail sales, were up 3.9% compared to January 2022. If you exclude foodservice, retail sales as we traditionally think of them were up 4.5%. Overall, with retail sales still growing, and coupled with the lowest inflationary growth over the last year, there’s actually a bright spot within consumer spending. According to the report, sales also grew compared to the past few months. 

There’s a few items to unpack from the report, first being the updated numbers for December, which actually showed a decline compared to November 2022. As we’ve heard from most retailers, the holiday season had some major lulls between tentpole events and early holiday shopping led to a more challenging December time period

Early signs of 2023 retail spending aren’t as bleak as we may have expected, and it’s clear that consumers didn’t necessarily hibernate from shopping after the holidays. Certainly healthy living and wellness spurred consumer spending as resolutions loomed and as some consumers finally went back into the office in the new year, retail may have provided solutions that they did not need in 2022. The remainder of Q1 will certainly be a test of how the industry can adapt to changes and keep consumer spending healthy.

From all of us as Retail Leader, have a great weekend and we will see you next week.