According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), December retail sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) increased 0.8 percent seasonally adjusted from November, and 2.1 percent unadjusted year-over-year. Total holiday retail sales increased 3 percent, below NRF's projected forecast of 4.1 percent, to $579.8 billion. Additionally, nonstore holiday sales grew 11.1 percent. In October, Shop.org forecasted a 12 percent growth in online sales in November and December.
Rebuilding American manufacturing, practicing "conscience capitalism," and investing big in online shopping and mobile commerce top retailers' to-do lists this year. So said a cross section of retail CEOs during the National Retail Federation's Big Show this week in New York City. All of the CEOs shared their biggest growth opportunities and business goals for 2013, but it was Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer, that stole the spotlight.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer and the biggest private employer in the U.S. with 1.4 million workers here, said Tuesday that it's rolling out a three-part plan to help jump-start the sluggish U.S. economy. The plan includes hiring more than 100,000 veterans in the next five years, spending $50 billion to buy more American-made merchandise in the next 10 years and helping its part-time workers move into full-time positions.