Report: Shorter Holiday Season Impacted Nov. Sales

Washington D.C. While shoppers were out and about Black Friday weekend, they cut back on spending for the rest of the month as November retail sales showed continued consumer restraint.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), retail-industry sales for November increased 0.6%, seasonally adjusted, from October, and decreased 2.0% unadjusted year-over-year. Industry related month-to-month sales saw the first increase in four months.

November retail sales released on Friday by the U.S. Commerce Dept. showed total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) decreased 9.0% unadjusted over last year, and dropped 1.8% seasonally adjusted from October.

Sales were down across most retail categories; however, some sectors saw slight increases in month-to-month sales. Electronics and appliance stores’ sales increased 2.8%, seasonally adjusted, from October but decreased 5.4% unadjusted year-over-year. Clothing and accessories stores sales increased 0.8% from the previous month, but fell 7.4% from November 2007.

Health and personal-care stores seasonally adjusted sales increased 1% from October and 2.3% unadjusted year-over-year. General-merchandise stores were up 1.2% seasonally adjusted month-to-month, and rose 1.3% from last year.

NRF continues to forecast meager holiday sales growth of 2.2%.