NATIONAL RETAIL BULLETIN
Another 2023 Low for US Retail Sales
Release date: May 16, 2023
April 2023 experienced very little growth with US retail sales growing 0.2% YOY for All Stores and All stores Less Automotive, Food, Pharmacies up 2.8% YOY. In a time of high inflation, and when comparing to double digit growth for nearly all months of 2022, this is a very low growth rate.
Discretionary categories took a hit in April with the following categories down:
- Department Stores (excluding Leased Departments), down -1.8% YOY,
- Clothing and Accessories Stores, down -4.1% YOY,
- Furniture and Home Furnishings Stores, down -8.8% YOY,
- Electronics and Appliances Stores, down -8.2% YOY, and
- Sporting Goods, Hobby, Musical Instrument, and Book Stores, down -9.2% YOY.
The JCWG team has mentioned numerous times the effects of inflation, the recession, and supply chain woes on discretionary retail categories, and April is no different. The decrease in these categories, with an increase in traffic at shopping centres, shows that consumers are still interested in window shopping and seeing products in person, even if they have a limited budget.
A less-discretionary category that also saw a decrease in April was Building Material and Garden Equipment Stores, down -5.7% YOY. This is particularly of note because one of the leaders in the category, Home Depot, saw their worst revenue miss in 20 years in Q1. The home improvement retailer said that the falling price of lumber and cold weather were the reason for this decline. Another reason, and one that the JCWG team thought was more relevant, was the fact that customers were delaying large projects and buying fewer big ticket items (like with the discretionary categories mentioned above).
The highest category growth in April is Food Service and Drinking Places, up 8.3% YOY. As the JCWG foodservices experts have noted before, people do not go to restaurants less/spend less eating out when they are experiencing the pressures of inflation, they simply opt for more price-conscious options.
Some things we are thinking about as we move through 2023 are:
- How will discretionary spend categories adjust their strategies?
- When will sales start to pick up again? Will they ever reach the growth rates of 2022 again?
- Where are consumers going for more price-sensitive dinners/nights out?
- How will YOU maintain a share of your customer’s discretionary spend?
For assistance in developing a strategy for periods of slow growth, inflation, and recession, reach out to JCWG.
The JCWG team is headed to RCC STORE23 May 30 & 31. Be sure to catch Lisa Hutcheson, our Managing Partner, on the main stage in conversation with Michele Guimond, Vice President Marketing at Mountain Equipment Co. chatting about “Building the Future on People, Purpose, and Planet Principles” as well as the breakout session with an esteemed panel discussing ‘The Future of Shopping Centres and Real Estate”. If you and your team are going, connect with us for a coffee chat!
US Retail Sales by Product Category, Same Month Comparison
|Sales for the Month of April||Apr-23||Apr-22||YOY|
|Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers||133,606||137,461||-2.80%|
|All Stores Less Automotive||493,292||478,825||3.02%|
|Food and Beverage Stores||80,137||77,842||2.95%|
|Health and Personal Care Stores||34,359||32,470||5.82%|
|All Stores Less Automotive, Food, Pharmacies||378,796||368,513||2.79%|
|Building Material and Garden Equipment Stores||43,893||46,530||-5.67%|
|General Merchandise Stores||72,539||69,677||4.11%|
|Department Stores (Excluding Leased Departments)||10,739||10,930||-1.75%|
|Clothing and Accessories Stores||24,485||25,539||-4.13%|
|Furniture, Home Furnishings, Electronics and Appliance Stores||17,795||19,465||-8.58%|
|Furniture and Home Furnishings Stores||10,976||12,040||-8.84%|
|Electronics and Appliance Stores||6,819||7,425||-8.16%|
|Sporting Goods, Hobby, Musical Instrument, and Book Stores||7,399||8,144||-9.15%|
|Miscellaneous Store Retailers||15,171||14,990||1.21%|
|Food Services and Drinking Places||89,651||82,783||8.30%|
US Retail Sales by Store Category, Year to Date Comparison
|Year-to-Date Sales Ending April||Apr-23||Apr-22||YTD|
|Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers||512,340||509,451||0.57%|
|All Stores Less Automotive||1,897,906||1,789,131||6.08%|
|Food and Beverage Stores||315,394||301,651||4.56%|
|Health and Personal Care Stores||137,405||128,191||7.19%|
|All Stores Less Automotive, Food, Pharmacies||1,445,107||1,359,289||6.31%|
|Building Material and Garden Equipment Stores||155,851||159,154||-2.08%|
|General Merchandise Stores||270,879||256,637||5.55%|
|Department Stores (Excluding Leased Departments)||40,333||39,620||1.80%|
|Clothing and Accessories Stores||89,676||88,855||0.92%|
|Furniture, Home Furnishings, Electronics and Appliance Stores||72,873||74,105||-1.66%|
|Furniture and Home Furnishings Stores||44,570||45,281||-1.57%|
|Electronics and Appliance Stores||28,303||28,824||-1.81%|
|Sporting Goods, Hobby, Musical Instrument, and Book Stores||29,744||29,646||0.33%|
|Miscellaneous Store Retailers||56,583||54,306||4.19%|
|Food Services and Drinking Places||343,590||299,963||14.54%|
US Consumer Confidence Index (2010 = 100)
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