Holiday Spending Falls Short of Expectations in Week Four

Beauty and small home appliances were the primary sales drivers during the fourth week of November.

NORTH AMERICA–Despite reports of massive in-store crowds on Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend, dollar sales in the fourth week of November were 2 percent lower than they were during the same period in 2016, according to The NPD Group’s U.S. weekly point-of-sale results for key general merchandise categories tracked during the holidays.

However, despite the week’s losses, retail sales for the first four weeks of the holiday shopping season are still up 2 percent across key general merchandise categories.

In addition to beauty and small home appliances, which both reported double-digit dollar gains during the week, the top performing categories were: home automation (driven by security and monitoring), kitchen appliances (driven by cookers), digital media speakers (driven by streaming audio speakers), PCs (driven by notebook computers) and home environment appliances (driven by specialist cleaning/robotic vacuums).

“Once again, we see practical gifting, and self-gifting, take center stage through Black Friday weekend,” says Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor, The NPD Group. “Consumers seem to have stored up their own home and beauty product needs in order to take advantage of great prices.”