NRF: Online Holiday Sales Rise 11.1% in 2012

Jan 15, 2013 10:18 AM  By

Online and offline sales rose during the 2012 holiday season, but fell short of National Retail Federation’s preseason predictions.

According to figures released today at the NRF’s Big Show in New York, total holiday retail sales increased 3%. That figure fell below NRF’s projected forecast of 4.1% to $579.8 billion.

Additionally, non-store holiday sales grew 11.1%. Shop.org, NRF’s ecommerce arm, forecasted a 12% growth in online sales in the months of November and December.

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said solid consumer spending in the month of December helped retailers finish the year with a healthy holiday shopping season, however economic uncertainties sent a cautious consumer to the stores.

“For over six months, we’ve been saying that the fiscal cliff and economic uncertainty could impact holiday sales,” Shay said. “As the number shows, these issues had a visible impact on consumer spending this holiday season.”
Other findings from the December retail sales report include:

  • Clothing and clothing accessories stores’ sales increased 1.0% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 2.5% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Electronics and appliance stores’ sales decreased 0.6% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and decreased 0.4% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales increased 1.4% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 3.0% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • General merchandise stores’ sales were unchanged seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and decreased 3.4% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Health and personal care stores’ sales increased 1.4% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and decreased 0.7% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Nonstore retailers’ sales increased 0.5% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 9.6% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales increased 0.6% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 4.7% unadjusted year-over-year.