April sales results were unexpectedly rosy. March retail sales were revised from down 0.4% to up 0.3%. This is why you should not believe the headlines calling for doom and gloom. That doom and gloom was predominantly a byproduct of one category: department stores.
Total April retail sales were up 1.3% to March and up 3.0% to April 2015. Total year to date excluding Autos is up 3.0%. A few highlights from April:
- Building material & garden equipment was up 8.2% and retails the largest percentage gain of 9.6% versus last year for Feb thru Apr
- Online/non-store retailers accelerated further and posted a 10.2% year over year gain and now showing 8.8% increase for Feb thru Apr versus last year
- Heath and personal care stores posted the 3rd largest year over year increase for April with a 8.1% gain
- Department Stores multi-decade decline continued with a decline of 1.7% year over year and now down 3.6% for the February thru April period
- The Electronics vacuum of sales to online continues with a decline of 2.0%
The trends for strong Building, Online, health and sport retailers continues. The continued weakness in Electronics and Department Stores with combined weakness in Clothing Stores reiterates why the retailers are posting weak Q1 numbers.
March Retail Sales can be found here.
February Retail Sales can be found here.
January Retail Sales can be found here.
December Retail Sales can be found here.