Retail sales data from the US Department of Commerce for November is out and it gives us an important snapshot in how the first half of the holiday season is progressing
November retail sales were up 5.5% versus last year. That makes the month of November the slowest year over year growth of 2022. 5.5% growth compares poorly to the 17.9% growth last November, and the 8.6% growth for the entire year to date. Adjusted for inflation, the November sales are 0.4% lower than last year.
This is a strong indication of a slower than usual start to the holiday season. Which aligns with reports from NPD that indicated that the Thanksgiving week sales were actual down 5% from the previous year.
Many retailers are reporting that consumers discretionary purchase is slowing in the face of economic headwinds and inflationary pressures.
Add unusually high discounting, historically high shrink, and a reaccelerating of e-commerce (which has lower margins and higher returns) and it's shaping up to be a challenging holiday season, especially for profits.
Download the Publicis Commerce Data Compendium for a complete snapshot of all seasons interesting data trends here.