Considering the state of the economy last year, any improvement is to be cheered. That’s why the Washington, D.C. based National Retail Federation (NRF) was happy to report U.S. Commerce Department figures showing January 2010 retail industry sales increased 0.5 percent seasonally, adjusted month to month. “We continue to see the economy show subtle signs of improvement,” says Rosalind Wells, Chief Economist for NRF. “While the recovery still has a long way to go, we remain encouraged by the latest retail sales figures.”
To entice consumers into stores, retailers offered special deals to get them to use gift cards they received over the holiday season and to stock up on clearance items. Sales at electronics and appliance stores increased 1.2 percent, seasonally adjusted. Clothing and clothing accessory store sales increased 0.3 percent. Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores also saw increases, with sales jumping one percent.
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, with membership that comprises all retail formats and channels of distribution, including department, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, independent stores, chain restaurants, drug stores and grocery stores.