Retail Sales Inch up in April Despite Poor Quarterly Reports

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

SpringShopping

Despite the dismal Q1 news coming from most retailers, U.S. retail sales still saw growth in April.

Retail sales increased 3 percent in April over last year to $453.4 billion, well over March’s 13-month low 0.5% growth, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Sales at clothing and accessories stores were up a touch over last year to $20.5 billion, and department stores saw sales up 0.4% to $52.6 billion. The true bright spot, however, was e-commerce. Sales at non-store retailers were up 10.2% year-over-year, pointing to what has been an increasing trend toward buying online.

Easter falling in March also helped April sales as retailers were open one day more in the month.

“Overall, April showed signs of strength in that downward trends in sales and traffic were flattened out a bit,” RetailNext VP of retail consulting Shelley E. Kohan told Retail Dive. “Positive signs in April included strong ATV [average transaction value] and sales per shopper, most likely the result of new spring merchandise and a merchandising refresh.”

Consumers are hungry for new and many aren’t finding it with traditional retailers and in stores where associates lack the level of knowledge that could be found much more easily online.

Retailers that don’t realize that, and don’t make an effort to cater to consumers with more appealing product and experiences, are going to lose out to competitors that have figured this out.

“Sameness” will be a big problem for apparel retailers who are now competing with smaller retailers (often without physical stores) that are catering to the need for niche.

“Going forward, collaborate marketplaces and the sharing economy will continue to challenge the traditional retail model,” Kohan told Retail Dive. “There’s not a lot of product differentiation out there, and there are too few retailers deploying innovative strategies like exclusive collaborations with designers to break free from the pack. I see this as a problem that will continue to become more and more of an issue.”


Recent News

Wool Prices on Rise as Sneakers Give Fiber Unexpected Boost

The wool market has battled dwindling demand from the infiltration of high-tech fabrics in the outerwear market for many years and lost supply in its home market of Australia, where growers have increasingly opted for more profitable use of their land.

This content is for Annual, Monthly and Limited members only. You can read up to five free articles each month with a Limited Level Subscription. Please log in, or register.
Log In Register
Read more

Commerce Finds Polyester Fiber Exporters From China, India Unfairly Subsidized

The U.S. Commerce Department issued affirmative final determinations in the countervailing duty investigations of fine denier polyester staple fiber from the China and India.

This content is for Annual, Monthly and Limited members only. You can read up to five free articles each month with a Limited Level Subscription. Please log in, or register.
Log In Register
Read more

Tintex Introduces Naturally Advanced Cotton With Raw Material Strategy

Portugese mill Tintex is switching from the use of conventional cotton and has launched a new fabric range called Naturally Advanced Cotton by Tintex using four different premium and responsibly grown cottons.

This content is for Annual, Monthly and Limited members only. You can read up to five free articles each month with a Limited Level Subscription. Please log in, or register.
Log In Register
Read more