Easter Shopping Boosts Retail Sales

Steven Bobson, Europe & Americas Editor
May 06, 2011 /

Easter shopping lifted retail sales for April this year despite soaring gasoline prices, as buyers rushed to shop for the holiday on April 24.

Because Easter was April 24 this year, buyers purchases stacked up April sales, compared last year, where buyers purchases stacked up March sales because it was on April 4.

According to the Thomson Reuters’ chain store sales index, which tracks 25 major retailers, same-store sales increased by an average of 8.9 percent in April, which is 1.7 percent higher than March and 0.7 percent higher than a year ago.

Analysts initially expected 8.2 percent increase from March but sixty-one percent of retailers were able to beat the estimate.

Thomson Reuters Consumer Research Director Jharonne Martis said that the 8.9 percent rise is outstanding since 3 percent already indicates a healthy consumption.

Teen retailers gained the most from the Easter shopping rush with Buckie reporting a 14.5 increase and Zumiez a 17.5 increase. Sales in the sector overall increased by 12.6 percent.

Discount stores got a 12.1 percent boost, as Target surged to 14 percent, BJWholesale to 12 percent and Costco to 11 percent.

The apparel sector (which doesn’t include discount chains) experienced a 9.6 percent increase, with Limited garnering a 20 percent rise and Gap an 8 percent rise.

Department stores earned an overall increase of 9 percent, with Macy’s reporting a 10.8 percent increase, JCPenney a 6.4 percent increase and higher-end Nordstorm a 7.6 percent increase.

The monthly gains have been coming around since August last year.

Martis says that the fact that sales went up despite the surge in oil prices shows that a consumer rebound has really surfaced. It also shows that customers are in for a new wardrobe as warm weather is starting to creep back in after the long winter.

 

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