Holiday Spending Falls Slightly in Week Three

Women’s apparel, sport leisure footwear and stereo headphones were the primary sales drivers during the third week of November.

NORTH AMERICA–With the promise of Black Friday deals looming, the week before Thanksgiving saw retail sales decline 1 percent compared to the third week of November 2016, according to The NPD Group’s U.S. weekly point-of-sale results for key general merchandise categories tracked during the holidays.

However, despite the week’s losses, retail sales for the first three weeks of the holiday shopping season are still up 4 percent across key general merchandise categories.

Overall, beauty, athletic footwear and small home appliances each saw dollar sales growth exceeding 5 percent. The NPD Group also found that average price increases were not enough to offset unit sales declines.

The top performing categories for the third week of November were: women’s apparel (driven by outerwear), sport leisure footwear, stereo headphones, kitchen appliances (driven by cookers) and home automation (driven by security and monitoring).

“The consumer is trained to expect deeper discounts, and despite early Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions that helped keep some of the momentum going, they plan and wait for them to intensify on the key shopping holidays,” says Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Activity over the peak shopping period appears to have perked up from last year but many consumers continued to self-gift, barely scratching the surface of their holiday shopping, so the rise in sales may not be as steep as expected.”

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