Discretionary general merchandise sales exceed pre-pandemic rate

Port Washington, NY – September sales data revealed a “seismic shift” in retail, latest report says NPD Retail Early Indicator Report data.

The month has traditionally seen a slowdown in retail sales of discretionary goods as it tracks end-of-summer back-to-school spending and precedes vacation spending. This year, however, discretionary general merchandise sales in the United States are up 4% from September 2020 and 18% from September 2019.

Unit sales were down 3% from September 2020, but were still up 5% from levels before the 2019 pandemic.

“September has indeed turned out to be a seismic shift in retail. With high growth rates in retail slowing but continuing to grow, and some industries are even losing momentum for growth in both 2020 and 2019, this September to learn and look for signs of things to come. come in 2022 ”, declared Marshal Cohen, Senior Industry Advisor, Retail, at The NPD Group.

He highlighted three key findings:

  • All discretionary general cargo industries saw dollar growth in September 2021 from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
  • Industries hardest hit by the pandemic, such as fashion accessories, beauty, clothing and footwear, continue to rebound from 2020 losses, but have the slowest gains from 2019 compared to others industries.
  • Some segments that gained the most traction during the pandemic, such as consumer technology, small appliances and household items, continue to surpass pre-pandemic double-digit levels – even if they are struggling to keep up. measure itself against the 2020 results.