August Retail Sales: A Surprising Twist

Retail sales results have been generally quite consistent. The categories of building materials (Home Depot, Lowes) and internet non-store retailers (Amazon) have been strong whilst department stores (Kohls, Nordstrom) and electronics have struggled. 

That trend stayed intact for the most part, but there was one surprising twist. Internet non-store retailers posted an 8.4% gain over last year which is the lowest in well over 3 years. We are used to double digit gains with year to date currently showing as 10.5%. Secondly, department stores saw a bit of relief as the group was only down 0.8% versus a year to date figure of down 3.3%.

I don't believe this changes the long term trend, but was quite surprised to see this twist. Could it have been Amazon Prime Day hangover? Maybe department stores "bought" sales in the month of August with higher markdowns?