Retail sales growth spring 2012

Flowers are not the only thing growing and blooming early this year. Around the country, people are enjoying the unseasonaly warm weather and spending more time outside and at the store. This combined with an earlier Easter holiday has provided retailers with solid sales growth in the month of March.

According to the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, March retail industry sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) increased 0.8 percent seasonally adjusted from February and 6.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

“Consumers have demonstrated the desire and ability to spend on discretionary items, further helping to spur economic and retail sales growth in the first quarter of 2012,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “While retailers will wait until the end of April to gauge the success of the spring shopping season, it’s evident that consumers are holding their own against rising gas prices and other economic concerns.”

Restaurants and convenience stores need not worry. March retail sales, released today by the U.S. Department of Commerce, showed total retail sales (which includes non-general merchandise categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants) increased 0.8 percent adjusted month-to-month and 7.4 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

“Moderate retail sales growth in March will help to offset murkier recent economic employment data ” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “We expect to see gains through the all-important summer months, but job and weak income growth coupled with stubbornly high gas costs will continue to force consumers to make tough, price-sensitive choices.”


Other findings from the March retail sales numbers include:


•Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers’ sales increased 3.0 seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 12.4 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

•Clothing and clothing accessories stores sales increased 0.9 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 12.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

•Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales increased 0.5 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 8.9 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

•Furniture and home furnishings stores sales increased 1.1 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 7.9 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

This is great news for retailers and a great time to engage customers to keep them coming back and shopping throughout the year. Mobile solutions, such as the Datalogic Falcon X3, can help you further engage your customers by queue busting to increase the overall customer experience. Mobile technology can also help reduce the time normally spent performing tasks like inventory, recieving and more giving you more time to spend on the sales floor with your customers.

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About the NRF

As the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s Retail Means Jobs campaign emphasizes the economic importance of retail and encourages policymakers to support a Jobs, Innovation and Consumer Value Agenda aimed at boosting economic growth and job creation.