Washington - Early holiday promotions helped October retail sales for CE and appliance dealers rise 3.5 percent year over year and 3.7 percent from September, the most growth in two years, U.S. Commerce Department reported today.
The total October take was $8.7 billion, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences but not for price changes, the agency said.
By comparison, October sales for e-tailers and other non-storefront merchants rose 11.1 percent year over year to $33.6 billion, but edged up just 0.4 percent from September.
Total retail sales, excluding food services and automotive, rose 7.3 percent in October to $355.8 billion and increased 0.6 percent from September.
"Retailers' early holiday promotions seemed to strike the right chord with shoppers last month," observed Matthew Shay, president/CEO of the National Retail Federation (NRF), an industry trade group. "Knowing the economy is still a big factor in customers' shopping decisions, retailers will continue to offer great deals and exceptional value throughout the holiday season."
The momentum, added NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz, bodes well for the holiday season. "October retail sales support the assertion that consumers have a distinct desire to spend, bolstering hopes for solid sales growth in November and December," he said.