This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

November Retail Sales Top Expectations, No Thanks to Black Friday (Update 1)

This story has been updated with industry commentary.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Retailers were hoping that Black Friday weekend promotions would boost sales in November as companies aggressively fought for customers. According to the latest Commerce Department numbers, U.S. retail and food services sales for November rose 0.7% to $432.3 billion, above analysts' expectations, but the gains were from consumers buying bigger ticket items as opposed to apparel.

Analysts, according to Thomson Reuters, were expecting sales to rise 0.6% in last month. The latest retail sales numbers were 4.7% above November 2012 numbers, according to the Commerce Department.

But apparel wasn't one of the top performing categories last month when comparing sequential gains. Consumers were buying bigger ticket items in November.

Sales at auto and other motor vehicle dealers rose 1.8% from the prior month and 10.9% from November of 2012. Sales at online (non-store) retailers rose 2.2% and 9.4%, respectively.

Additionally, furniture and home furnishing stores rose 1.8% from October sales (up 9.7% from last year), while electronics stores saw a 1.2% rise last month and a 6.3% gain from November 2012.

"The pattern of buying continues to reflect fallout from home buying earlier in the year," Steve Blitz, chief economist for ITG Investment Research, says in written commentary. "During the summer months home purchases boosted spending at building materials stores which has since slowed. ... With flagstones now in place and rose trellises raised, attention moved indoors."

"The growth in spending at these stores is no real surprise," Blitz adds. "Our expectation is that growth in spending in these categories will soon begin to slow for the same reason as building and garden material sales slowed, growth in home buying has flattened."

Must Read: Will Lululemon's New CEO Embrace Downward Dog?

Clothing and clothing accessories sales actually fell 0.2% from October, but gained 4.1% in year-over-year comparisons.

"We also follow apparel sales very closely and have noted the softness in soft-line retail, based on the transaction panel and the discounting behavior of soft-line retailers," Blitz says. "Where spending has continued to drive higher is at online stores."

Retail sales excluding gas, building materials and autos, rose 0.5% last month, above the expected 0.3% gains, according to Thomson Reuters.

October retail sales were revised upward to 0.6% from 0.4% as previously disclosed.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $94.02 0.00%
FB $104.07 0.00%
GOOG $683.57 0.00%
TSLA $162.60 0.00%
YHOO $27.97 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,204.97 -211.61 -1.29%
S&P 500 1,880.05 -35.40 -1.85%
NASDAQ 4,363.1440 -146.4150 -3.25%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs