The increase in October retail sales at 1.7% month over month beat estimates of 1.4%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. For further perspective and to reduce the noise and focus on holiday season sales, we saw a 12.9% increase year over year for retail sales, excluding food services, gas, building materials and motor vehicles. This showing highlights the strong demand for goods heading into the traditional holiday season.
We will have to wait until next week to get retail sales adjusted for inflation to see how much of the increase is related to organizations passing along increased costs to maintain margins.
While it remains to be seen if October will lead this year’s holiday season in total spending, consumers are signaling they are ready to celebrate this year.
Agile middle market retailers able to pivot quickly to meet consumer demands by using data and systems have the advantage for the remainder of the holiday season. A focus on customer engagement and robust stock keeping unit management are essential. Get more middle market retail insights in RSM’s winter 2022 outlook.