Consumer sentiment is at an all time high just days before Donald Trump becomes inaugurated. In addition, Amazon revealed their holiday sales were a Christmas miracle as sales for the Amazon Alexa virtual assistants increased by over 900%. Now, a new report by the National Retail Foundation reveals a holiday sales increase that is higher than expectations.
According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales from November and December have increased by 4% in comparison to 2015, resulting in a total of $658.3 billion. The Retail Federation explained that the rise in holiday shopping illustrates consumers were more encouraged to spend their money than before. Ultimately, $112.9 billion were spent in non-store sales, resulting in a near 13% percent rise from 2015’s numbers. In addition, the National Retail Foundation revealed that the holiday sales shopping numbers were higher than they initially expected.
NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay explained that these numbers show that America’s economic recovery is picking up. “Retail mirrors the economy. And while there might have been some bumps in the road for individual companies, the retail industry overall had a solid holiday season and retailers will work to sustain this in the year ahead.”
NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said in a statement, “Economic indicators were up, retailers offered great deals, confidence improved and all of that empowered consumers to spend more.”
However, it is important to point out that electronics and appliance stores suffered a 2.3% decrease in sales in comparison to 2015. Also, department stores decreased by 7.0% unadjusted from last year.
The drop in department store sales is not that surprising. Earlier this month, Macy’s announced that they were going to cut 10,000 jobs after suffering weak holiday sales. The company explained that it was part of their plan to cut costs and close 100 stores after that their sales dropped 2.1% in comparison to last year’s holiday season.