Retail sales and prices increased in August as industry rallies – Footwear News

Consumer activity picked up in August, thanks to a good return to school and end-of-summer travel.

Retail sales rose to $ 618.7 billion in August, jumping 0.7% from July, according to a monthly report from the US Census Bureau. Sales were up 15.1% from August 2020, with apparel and accessories sales increasing 38.8% year-over-year.

The bump comes after a 1.1% drop in sales in July compared to June. July’s drop suggested impacts from the Delta variant and shipping and supply chain disruptions in the industry. Now, the back-to-school races and the end of the summer season have resulted in increased sales. And while concerns about the Delta variant and inflation persist, pundits are optimistic about the industry’s path to recovery.

“Looking ahead, we maintain our view that retail will end the year on a very strong note,” said Neil Saunders, Managing Director of GlobalData, in a statement. “Growth will moderate over the next few months, but the consumer still has a lot of firepower to give retail a happy start as it exits 2021.”

Overall, port congestion and shipping disruptions caused major headaches for brands and retailers this quarter. Freight rates have reached record highs amid pandemic-related shipping slowdowns, factory and store closures, clogged ports and labor shortages. As a result, the prices of some items have increased. Over the past month, prices appear to be stabilizing.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly report, consumer prices rose 0.3% again in August, lower than the 0.5% increase recorded in July. This was the smallest price increase since rising 0.3% in January.

The slight price increase in August combined with the increase in spending points to positive signs for the future of retail. In a statement, the National Retail Federation said the increase in retail sales in August is a testament to the resilience of the sector.

“Despite the current challenges of the global pandemic, concerns about the delta variant, and supply chain and workforce constraints, the retail industry continues to do what it does. better – serve customers and support communities while ensuring the safety and health of team members and associates. NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. retailers. “

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