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Retail sales increased throughout October

November 20, 2013

Retailers worried that consumers are spending less than usual during this holiday season can quell their fears: retail sales continued to tick upward throughout the past month.

Retailers worried that consumers are spending less than usual during this holiday season can quell their fears: retail sales continued to tick upward throughout the past month. 

Retail sales increased by 2.5 percent from September to October, according to the latest report from the National Retail Federation. Consumers also spent 4.2 percent more during October 2013 than they did during October 2012, suggesting that retailers may be able to expect an even heartier holiday season this year than they experienced during the year past. 

“Consumer spending is growing as we head into the holiday shopping season and the timing couldn’t be better,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the NRF. “Consumers seem to have found some sense of confidence, driven, in part, by lower gas prices. While positive gains were seen in most retail categories, retailers will continue to rely on heavy promotions to drive traffic and sales this holiday season.”

The NRF had previously projected a 3.9 percent increase in overall holiday sales when compared with 2012, which is supported by these latest findings. 

“The ever-resilient consumer continues to deliver better economic news,” said Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist for the firm. “Various retail segments contributed to this month’s growth showing that there is an ongoing pent-up demand by consumers. Confidence and sales should continue to improve.”

Mobile shopping options thrive headed into the holidays
One reason that sales may be ticking upward throughout this holiday system is the increased availability of multi-channel shopping opportunities. For example, PriceGrabber recently reported that 23 percent of consumers are expecting to shop using their mobile phone this holiday season – up by 44 percent when compared to figures from 2012

PriceGrabber also reported that 88 percent of consumers expect to purchase products via online payment processing terminals by using their desktop computers, as well. Overall, 46 percent of all respondents plan to make fewer trips to retail stores this year – suggesting that store owners hoping to benefit from the increase in retail spending will need to focus on online commerce opportunities. 

“In order to stay competitive with the online marketplace, retailers are adapting to the increase in showrooming, enticing consumers to complete their purchases in-stores this year,” explained Jeff Goldstein, president of PriceGrabber. “Mobile shoppers who research prices on their mobile devices will be able to take advantage of price-matching while in-store, scoring some of the best deals on holiday gifts this season.”

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