The National Retail Federation (NRF) also released their calculation of retail sales, which were 0.3% month-over-month and 10.6% year-over-year. NRF’s data excludes automobile dealers, gas stations and restaurants to focus exclusively on retail.
“We are encouraged by another positive retail sales number for October — the sixth consecutive positive monthly gain — as early holiday shopping provided a strong boost to the data. Overall, retail sales were up 10.6 percent in October 2020 versus October 2019, and for the first 10 months of this year, retail sales were up 6.4 percent versus the first 10 months of 2019,” said Matthew Shay, NRF President and Chief Executive Officer.
October’s sales numbers reflect NRF’s research, which shows that 42% of consumers started their holiday shopping sooner than usual this year. Nearly 59% of individuals had begun their shopping by early November.
“Consumers have proven their resilience and willingness to spend as we head into the heart of the holiday season and retailers continue to demonstrate their commitment and ability to ensure safe shopping environments for their customers and their associates, with deep discounts, robust inventory and great experiences whether in store or online,” Shay said.
“October retail sales remained on track despite the pandemic continuing to affect households and businesses. The steady expansion of retail sales is good news against the background of these unusual economic circumstances and climbing virus cases in recent weeks. Early holiday shopping appears to have supported October’s increase in sales,” said Jack Kleinhenz, NRF Chief Economist.