Retail Roundup
3.10.16 Merchandising

Retail Roundup: 2015 Holiday Sales Increase By 3 Percent

By: PJ Fuller

The numbers are in for 2015’s sales, and they indicate good news for American retailers. The National Retail Federation aggregated U.S. spending for the last decade and found that 2015 retail holidays sales increased 3% overall to total $626 billion.

In spite of a December heat wave across the country that naturally suppressed retail sales of cold-weather goods, when adjusted on a year-over-year basis, sales for the 2015 holiday season still surpassed those of previous years.

A photo of a mall

The 2015 holiday season turned out to be very profitable for retailers.

Online Holiday Sales Grew to $105 Billion in 2015

Both online and in-store, retail saw gains in the 2015 holiday season. Within the U.S., online holiday sales peaked to $105 billion, a 9% increase from the previous year.

This success is evidence of the resilient nature of retail in American society. Despite challenges, the retail industry is growing across the board, using advanced technology to usher in a new kind of shopping. As a result, online holiday sales made up a significant portion of all purchases. Avoiding inclement weather and crowded stores, customers flock online to find the gift or sale they’re looking for, and everyone wins.

In 2015, more consumers than ever before used the web to do their holiday shopping, and retail stores happily welcomed this ever-increasing clientele coming to boost sales.

Overall Holiday Sales Trend Toward Long-Term Growth

Historically, holiday sales are on the incline. After a setback in 2008 and 2009, the U.S. Commerce Department reported that we’re back to seeing consistent (though modest) growth over time in holiday sales. This means that retail is thriving and Americans are prospering.

Even in the face of adverse conditions, Americans overcame. While poor weather and economic deflation somewhat muted December’s sales numbers in 2015, overall holiday sales are steadily trending upward every year. Sales are climbing at a healthy rate, according to industry experts. American consumer confidence is high, and that’s a fairly unstoppable force once it gains momentum.

A photo of store having a sale

Sales have been steady since the economic setback in 2008, which is a good sign for the U.S. economy.

The 3% increase in 2015’s holiday sales speaks to the buying power of the consumer as well as the enduring strength of the retailer. Together, these two can push through unfavorable shopping conditions and spend the holidays the traditional American way: buying and selling a whole bunch of stuff.

In the years ahead, the NRF is optimistic about future gains in the retail industry. Just looking at the U.S.’s track record of holiday sales over the past decade, it’s clear that retailers are robust as ever—and still growing.