NDP: September sales reveal big changes in retail

NDP: September sales reveal big changes in retail

The lull in discretionary spending that typically occurs in September has been largely missed this year.

Sales of discretionary general merchandise in the United States were up 4% in September 2021 from September 2020 and 18% from September 2019, according to the latest NPD data from the Retail Early Indicator Report. All discretionary general cargo industries saw dollar growth in September 2021 from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

“September has indeed turned out to be a seismic shift in retail,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industrial advisor at The NPD Group. “With high growth rates in retail slowing but continuing to grow, and some industries even losing their growth momentum in both 2020 and 2019 Back to school and back to university gained ground later in at the same time as supply chain challenges hit stores, making this September a month to learn and look for signs of things to come in 2022.

Industries worst hit by the pandemic such as fashion accessories, beauty, clothing and footwear continue to rebound from 2020 losses, but have the slowest gains from 2019 compared to other industries . Some industries that gained the most traction during the pandemic, including consumer technology, small appliances and household items, continue to surpass pre-pandemic double-digit levels, but are struggling to measure up to the 2020 results.


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