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November Sales Flat For CE, Majap Dealers

Washington – Retail sales for CE and white-goods merchants slipped 1 percent to $8.4 billion in November, the U.S. Commerce Department reported, although revenue edged up 2.5 percent from October.

In comparison, e-tailers and other direct-sellers enjoyed an 11.1 percent boost in total November sales to $38.5 billion year over year, the agency’s monthly retail sales estimates show, while total U.S. retail sales, excluding car dealers, gas stations and restaurants, were up 3.4 percent to $367 billion.

The figures were adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading day differences, but not for price changes.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), an industry trade group, the November numbers reflect a successful Thanksgiving weekend but were tempered by the impact of Superstorm Sandy on consumers and stores in the Northeast.

Based on stable employment rates, lower gasoline prices and a recovering housing market, NRF is sticking to its prior projection of a 4.1 percent increase in holiday spending this season.

The forecast is supported by a separate report from market research firm ShopperTrak showing that retail sales for the week of Dec. 2-8 were up 6.5 percent from the preceding week, and foot traffic rose 7.8 percent.

However, sales slipped 1.5 percent year over year, likely due to an early Hanukah and the extra full weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the company said.

“Shoppers have twelve days, including two full weekends, to complete their Christmas purchases,” noted ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin. “After this week, stores and malls are going to see business picking up as droves of consumers tick off the final items of their shopping lists.”