Much to the relief of retailers around the nation, this year’s back-to-school season went better than expected, thanks to swarms of consumers hitting the stores in July, taking advantage of promotions on apparel, electronics and school supplies.
According to the National Retail Federation, retail industry sales in July increased 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted from the previous month and 4.0 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
That’s extremely good news considering that retailers and economists were concerned that consumers would begin pulling back on their spending.
“Everyone was so concerned that they wouldn’t go back but they did,” said one retail expert with Avanade. “These back-to-school numbers are huge. It’s a great indicator, especially because retail is a multi-trillion dollar industry.”
It’s all about consumer confidence, the expert said.
“July retail sales make one important point clear – it’s very hard to ignore the resilience of the American consumer,” said NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz. “Retailers promotions hit the right chord with back-to-school shoppers last month, helping ease concerns that consumers were pulling back on spending, which so far has been a driving force in the economic recovery.”
Source: NRF, August 2011