December retail sales reach $400 billion mark
WASHINGTON — Despite barely rising in December, retail sales hit a record for the year, according to figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday.
U.S. retail and food services sales for the month, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, increased 0.1% to $400.6 billion from the previous month and 6.5% above December 2010. Adjusted retail sales were virtually unchanged.
Looking across retail categories, the Census Bureau reported that grocery store sales saw a decline in December, decreasing from $46.5 billion to $46.4 billion. Health and personal care stores rose from $23.3 billion to $23.1 billion. Retail sales for drug stores and pharmacies were not recorded; however, sales were virtually flat from October to November ($19.3 billion to $19.26 billion).
For the year, total retail sales were up 7.7% to $4.7 trillion, while sales excluding motor vehicles and parts totaled nearly $3.9 trillion, 7.3% above 2010.
Meanwhile, the National Retail Federation said that holiday sales rose 4.1% to $471.5 billion, beating NRF’s projection of 3.8%.
"The right mix of strong promotions, lean inventories and an emphasis on value put retailers in the perfect position to end the year on a high note," NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “A better-than-expected holiday season is welcome news for an economic recovery that continues to be sluggish, and demonstrates retail’s powerful role as an engine of growth.”
Value still resonates at 99 Cents Only
CITY OF COMMERCE, Calif. — Sales at 99 Cents Only Stores rose 10.6% to $403.9 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 over sales of $365.4 milllion for the same quarter last year.
The company’s overall same-store sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 increased 8.5%. The number of same-store-sales transactions increased 5.6% and the average transaction size increased to $9.86 from $9.59.
99 Cents Only CEO Eric Schiffer said, "We are pleased to report that we achieved 8.5% same-store sales growth in the third quarter, which was above our expected range of mid-single-digit comparable sales."
During the third quarter of fiscal 2012, the company opened one store in California, two in Arizona and one in Texas. The gross and saleable retail square footage at the end of the third quarter were 6.19 million and 4.87 million, respectively. This represents an increase of 4% and 4.1% of gross and saleable square footage, respectively, based on 292 stores.
U.S. Nonwovens seeks to market Dual Pod technology
BRENTWOOD, N.Y. — U.S. Nonwovens is looking to market its Dual Pod technology for consumer packaged goods companies that operate or are looking to operate in the cleaning/laundry category.
The company said it is in "high-level discussions" with global CPG companies in efforts to license and/or sell USN’s newly granted patents. Procter & Gamble is the is the only other company aside from USN to market such technology, particularly in its Tide and Cascade brands, the company noted.
"Dual Pods are highly effective, user friendly and convenient," USN COO Rody Mehdizadeh said. "Global CPG powerhouses must innovate convenience at a value now, in efforts to curb the down trend."