Holiday Retail Sales Hit Record

Retail sales totaled roughly $887 billion in November and December, a record figure that represents a 14.1 percent increase over 2020, according to an analysis from the National Retail Federation (NRF).

“We closed out the year with outstanding annual retail sales and a record holiday season, which is a clear testament to the power of the consumer and the ingenuity of retailers and their workers,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. “The numbers are clear: 2021 was an undeniably outstanding year for retail sales.”

NRF credited the strong sales to consumers’ increased wages and high personal savings. Clothing stores saw the largest increase in sales, up 33.1 percent, while sales at sporting goods stores and general merchandise stores increased by 20.9 percent and 15.2 percent, respectively.

The figures, which are based on U.S. Census Bureau data, exclude car dealers, gas stations and restaurants, which were among the businesses hardest hit by the omicron surge in December.