E-commerce sales hit records. Lower prices led to lower sales at petrol stations and electronics stores. Used-car dealers faced buyers’ strikes, while new-car dealers faced supply shortages. Grocery store sales are up on price spikes.
Written by Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.
First, the retail sales figures reported today by the Department of Commerce are based on revenues by category of retailer, obtained through a survey of approximately 5,500 retailers. This is the revenue data from the retailer from the company’s point of view, not from the consumer’s point of view. This shows how well these companies are doing with their bottom line. And soon we’ll be looking at a huge number of these earnings charts for each retailer category.
“Retail sales” instead of “consumption”: The latter will be reported about two weeks after retail sales. Here is my analysis of inflation-adjusted ‘real’ consumer spending on durables, non-durables and services. Through August, consumers outpaced inflation.
Retail sales track goods, not services, But rampant inflation is shifting from goods to services, with service inflation reaching its worst level since 1982.
Inflation raged in services, cooled in goods On a monthly basis for September. Grocery prices are still skyrocketing. This is immediately reflected in grocery store sales. However, sales at petrol stations declined as petrol prices plummeted. Used car prices fell and new car prices rose, albeit at a lower rate. Electronics prices plummeted. His CPI for durable goods (new and used cars, electronics, home appliances, sporting goods, furniture, etc.) fell from August to September (my inflation details are all here). For many retailers, it is now difficult to push through and stick with price increases.
Therefore, overall CPI rates cannot be applied to retail sales.Attempting to fit the consumer price index of various product categories to retail sales stalls because retail sales are determined by retailer category, not by product category. An array of product categories. Some retailer categories are closer to product categories, such as “new and used auto and parts dealers,” “food service and drinking places,” or “gas stations.” However, gas stations sell all sorts of other products, including sodas and junk food, and the “gas station” retail sales category counts sales of all products, not just gasoline.
Total retail sales after prices drop across many categories September was flat from August at $684 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis, up 8.2% from a year ago. Compared to September 2019, retail sales were up a staggering 32%.
Sales at new car / used car / parts dealers, In the largest category, September was down 0.4% from August to $128 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis, but up 5.6% from a year ago and up 23% from September 2019.
The increase in sales since 2019 has been attributed to much higher new and used vehicle prices and much lower unit sales as the industry is experiencing major supply problems.
Dealer lots have ample supply as used car prices have fallen from a mad rush and price resistance has finally set in. The number of used cars sold is down about 15% from 2019.
New car prices continued to soar in September. Inventories of heavy trucks that were depleted last year and early this year are increasing, with some dealers overstocking and offering heavy discounts. Small cars with good fuel economy are sold out, and there are long lines, including EVs. As such, new car sales, which fell 19% from Q3 2019 to Q3, are still constrained by supply, not demand.
Selling through e-commerce or other “non-brick and mortar retailers” Achieved a new record of $109 billion, up 0.5%, amid a constant shift in sales from bricks-and-mortar stores to online sites.
This includes brick-and-mortar retailer e-commerce business, as well as stall and market sales.
restaurant: Sales were $79 billion, up 0.4% month-on-month, when the CPI for “at-home food,” which largely reflects food purchased at the grocery store, rose 0.7%. Year-on-year, sales he increased by 6.4%. That’s about half the CPI (13%) for “eat at home.” Compared to September 2019, sales he increased by 24%.
Food service and drinking venues: September sales increased 0.5% from August and increased 11.4% year-over-year to a record $87 billion. This increase mainly reflects inflation. His CPI for “food away from home” such as restaurants, vending machines, cafeterias and sandwich shops saw him rise 0.9% from August to September, up 8.5% year-on-year at its worst. Since September 1981.
Sales increased by 33% compared to September 2019.
General store: Monthly sales increased 0.6%, up 4.1% year-over-year to $59 billion, up 21% from September 2019. Walmart and Target fall into this category, but department stores are excluded.
gas station: Gasoline CPI plummets for 3rd straight month, down 24% from peak, driving monthly sales down 1.4%, 3rd straight month of decline, to $63bn, lowest level since February became. in june. Sales were up 21% year-over-year and 48% over September 2019.
Gas station sales include all other items you sell, such as food, beverages, motor oil, and more. The drop in gasoline prices may have been mitigated by higher prices for other things.
Building materials, garden supplies, and equipment stores: Monthly sales fell 0.4% to $43 billion, but was up 9.7% year-over-year and up 38% from September 2019.
Clothing and accessories stores: Monthly sales increased 0.5%, up 6.4% year-over-year to $26.0 billion, up 18% from September 2019.
Other retailers (including cannabis stores): Monthly revenue fell 2.5% to $15.6 billion, but was up 8.2% year-over-year and up 41% from September 2019.
Furniture and home goods stores: Monthly sales were down 0.7% to $12 billion, up less than 1% year over year. Compared to September 2019, his turnover increased by 17%.
Department store: Revenue increased 1.3% to $11.6 billion this month, up 1.8% year-on-year and up 4.8% from September 2019, driven by significant price increases.
Since 2000, sales have decreased by 42%. Department store sales are migrating from mall stores to the Internet, including e-commerce sites for the few surviving department store chains.
Countless department stores and department store chains, including Sears, have filed for bankruptcy and most have been liquidated. Department stores were once iconic places where Americans shop. Today, only a few chains have survived like Macy’s, and even Macy’s has closed many stores each year over the years, and many malls that have not yet closed are closing department stores. anchor.
Americans have discovered that anything that can be purchased in a brick-and-mortar department store can be purchased online, including on the chain’s website.
In the early 1990s, department store sales accounted for about 10% of total retail sales. By February 2020, just before the pandemic, they accounted for 2.4%. In September 2022 they were just 1.9%. Path to irrelevance:
Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores: Sales fell 0.7% to $9.2 billion this month, but increased 3.7% year-over-year. His CPI for sporting goods rose for him one month, but year-on-year he fell 1.1%. Compared to September 2019, his turnover increased by 38%.
Electronics store: Revenue fell 0.8% this month, down 8.6% year-over-year to $7.4 billion, and is still down from September 2019. In September:
- CPI Consumer Electronics: -0.6% m/m. -10% YoY.
- CPI Appliances: -0.3% m/m, +1.7% y/y
This category includes only specialty electronics and electronics stores, such as Best Buy brick-and-mortar stores and Apple’s brick-and-mortar stores. Sales of electronics and appliances at other retailers such as Walmart are not covered, nor are e-commerce sales of electronics and appliances.
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