Holiday sales grew 4.1% compared to the same period a year ago, the National Retail Federation reports.
The growth rate is nearly double the 2.1% gain reported after the 2018 holiday shopping season. Washington State estimates results based on quarterly sales tax updates. Those results for the holiday season are not expected until the spring of this year. Employment Security projected a 2.5% gain in statewide retail employment for the final quarter of 2019.
Holiday sales results can be pivotal for most retailers. A Reuters news service report pegs the outcome as being responsible for up to 40% of annual retail sales.
This holiday was marked by continually increasing numbers of consumers who shopped online, NRF reported. It said online holiday sales were up nearly 15% compared to 2018.
Holiday results for other key retail sectors included:
- Grocery and beverage stores, up 2.9%
- Furniture and home furnishings, up 2.6%
- Health and personal care stores, up 1.6%
- Clothing and accessories stores, down 1.6%
- Electronics and appliance stores, down 2%
Of the estimated $730 billion in total holiday sales, online sales of $168 billion set a record high. The results exclude auto dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.
Sources include: NRF, Reuters, CNBC, Employment Security, state Department of Revenue