Columbus, Ohio -- Retail same-store sales eased to 3.2% growth in December in the wake of November’s exceptionally strong promotional activity and an ongoing shift toward online shopping, according to Kantar Retail. The sales-weighted composite for the 31 retailers reporting -- most of them apparel retailers -- was weaker than the 5.6% same-store sales gain last month, but slightly better than the 3.0% gain in December of 2009. (The calculations no longer include Walmart, which stopped reporting monthly results in 2009. )
“It’s clear that November’s great in-store deals robbed spending from December. And in December shoppers were partial to spending online, perhaps encouraged even more by bad weather late in the month. One key exception was upscale department stores, which saw sales growth hold steady or improve in December,” said Frank Badillo, senior economist.