Report: Retailers Continued to Struggle in Early November

New York City Retail sales contracted through Nov. 15, according to SpendingPulse, a report from Master Card Advisors.

"Several retail industry categories continued to struggle through the first half of November," noted Michael McNamara, VP of research and analysis for MasterCard Advisors. "Key holiday sectors posted year-over-year declines of over 19%."

Electronics and appliance sales had some of the steepest drops of the sectors. For the first two weeks of November, sales posted a year-to-year decline of 22.1%.

Luxury showed a particularly sharp decline in sales, dropping 21.1% in the first two weeks of November against 2007, following a 20.1% year-to-year decline in October.

Overall specialty apparel was down 19% from last year, following drops of 5.5% in September and 12.2% in October.

Women’s apparel experienced a severe decline of 19.7% in the first half of November, compared with 2007.

A more complete picture of  retailers’ performance will emerge on Thursday, when many chains report same-store sales for November.