According to the U.S. Census Bureau‘s June, 2013 retail trade report, retailers posted unexpected good growth from January through May of this year.
Overall retail and food service sales were up 3.8 percent for the first five months of 2013 over same period last year. Automobile sales boosted the overall results, but other retailers posted exceptional gains too. Gift, novelty and souvenir stores yielded the biggest overall increase in sales from 2012, posting an increase of 15.2 percent. As a result, gift stores outpaced online retailers, which grew a more modest 12.9 percent.
Other highlights from the report included:
– Jewelry stores, up 10.5 percent
– Hobby, toy, and game stores, up 7.9 percent
– Home furnishings stores, up 9.6 percent
– Beer, wine and liquor stores, up 5.2 percent and
– Building materials, garden supplies dealers, up 5.1 percent
Interesting to note is that these retail sectors are disproportionately represented by small independent retailers who are essential to the success of the U.S. consumer economy. To underscore the importance of independent retailers, the Institute for Local-Self Reliance published a report that found for every $10 million in retail revenue, a super-sized retailer like Amazon.com employs only 14 people, as compared with 52 employed workers in small independent retailers.
For the full report, visit their website.