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Retail sales up 3.5 percent in October: Census Bureau

November 15, 2019

Year-over-year retail sales (minus motor vehicles and gasoline) rose by 3.5 percent in October, on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The best-performing category was Nonstore sales (a grouping that comprises all online sales, including those processed by physical retailers, plus mail-order companies), which climbed by 14.3 percent year over year. The Census Bureau reported that Miscellaneous store sales — a category that includes such retailers as florists, office supplies, stationery and gift stores and used-merchandise stores — rose by 4.3 percent.

Restaurants and bars saw a 4.7 percent sales increase

The Restaurants and Drinking Establishments sector saw a 4.7 percent sales increase, while Food and Beverage Stores sales were up by 3.2 percent. Health and Personal Care sales rose by 1.9 percent. Furniture sales increased by 0.9 percent. Sporting Goods, Hobby, Books and Music sales rose 0.2 percent.

Sales for Traditional and Discount Department Stores sector dropped by 6.9 percent

Sales in the Traditional and Discount Department Stores sector — a subcategory of General Merchandise — dropped by 6.9 percent — their largest decline since February 2017. However, general merchandise stores as a whole saw a 0.9 percent increase.

Electronics sales declined by 3.4 percent, Clothing was down 2.7 percent, and Building Supply retailers saw sales drop 2 percent.

By Edmund Mander

Director, Editor-In-Chief/SCT

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