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Retail Sales Ticked Up in January, but Department Store Sales Are Shrinking

After a disappointing December, U.S. retail sales gained momentum again at the beginning of the year, signaling a stronger position for the industry going into 2019.
According to data released Monday by the Commerce Department, January retail sales reached $504.4 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis, a 0.2 percent increase over the month prior. Excluding spending on motor vehicles and at gas stations — businesses that have been affected by rising gas prices — sales increased 1.2 percent from December, the largest monthly gain since May 2018.
Since January 2018, spending on categories excluding motor vehicle-related sales has increased a robust 3.7 percent, with the biggest gains concentrated in building materials stores, restaurants, grocery stores and non-store retailers. The latter industry, which includes e-commerce retailers such as Amazon, saw a 7.3 percent increase in spending over the same month last year.
Clothing and accessories stores saw more modest results, with January sales reaching $22.6 million, a 1.6 percent increase over the year prior though a 1.3 percent drop from December.
Department stores — many of which have struggled to adapt to changing consumer preferences and the rise of e-commerce — have been largely excluded from the benefits of the strong economy: Sales have fallen

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Via:: https://footwearnews.com/2019/business/retail/us-retail-sales-department-stores-january-2019-1202759262/