Market Overview

A Holiday Sales Update From NPD: 2016 May Fall Flat

A Holiday Sales Update From NPD: 2016 May Fall Flat

Thanksgiving week is usually one of the strongest for retail sales in the United States, kicking off the holiday shopping season. This year was no different. According to the NPD Group’s data, weekly point-of-sale figures for the main general merchandise categories show sales in the Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday week were more than double those of the preceding week.

However, the numbers also exhibited a 1 percent tumble in Thanksgiving week sales, in relation to the same period last year. Moreover, dollar sales in the first four weeks of this year’s holiday shopping season slipped 3 percent in relation to those same four weeks in 2015.

Over the first four weeks of 2016’s holiday shopping seasons, only two categories did better than last year. Toys and prestige fragrances each saw sales increase by 3 percent year-over-year, with toys more than doubling its sales from the third to the fourth (Thanksgiving) week.

Source: NPD


Top Performing Categories

“Retailers of all types set out to lure consumers with an increase in promotions, and it worked [...] for a few categories, but not for everything,” NPD Chief Industry Analyst Marshal Cohen explained. “Less conventional holiday winners beat out anticipated headliners, like last year’s wearable fitness tracker success story. But, big TVs are also making their mark on the 2016 holiday season, and a handful of other categories are gaining momentum.”

The top performing categories included:

  • PCs (Notebooks).
  • Home Automation.
  • Sports Toys.
  • Games/Puzzles.
  • Streaming Audio Speakers.
  • Instant Print Cameras — although not a top performer, the category showed “noteworthy growth.”

“While the pace picked up over Thanksgiving Week, overall the season is still lagging a bit and what follows is the post-Black Friday lull. The challenge facing retailers now is to make the new, more spread-out holiday shopping season work to their advantage, and keep the hottest items in stock as consumers shop with the expectation of continued deals galore,” Cohen concluded.

At Last Check

  • SPDR S&P Retail (ETF) (NYSE: XRT) was down by a penny from Tuesday's open at $47.07. Since Thanksgiving, the ETF is up 0.56 percent.
  • Consumer Discretionary SPDR (ETF) (NYSE: XLY) was down 0.74 percent at $84.23. Since Thanksgiving, the ETF is up 1.78 percent.

Related Articles (XLY + XRT)

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