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Monthly retail sales from the US Commerce Department

The department’s Census Bureau tracks estimates each month. Retail Dive provides the numbers for key segments, and their year-over-year progress, or decline.

Every month, the U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, releases its first calculation of the previous month’s retail sales. At Retail Dive, we report these figures by grouping the key segments that define “retail” in a way that we hope is most meaningful to the industry.

We use unadjusted numbers and year-over-year comparisons. And although we of course include e-commerce, captured in the federal report as “nonstore retailers,” readers will note that the government includes sales from businesses not generally thought of as “e-commerce.”

YoY sales performance by sector
YTD retail sales

How key retail sales fared year over year

Retail sales estimates for key sectors

Click on a sector to see its sales over the last 12 months.

Clothing & accessories
Electronics & applicances
Furniture & home
General merchandise
Sporting goods, hobby, bookstores
Retail Dive calculates “total retail sales” using the core segments outlined above, as well as what the Commerce Department calls “Nonstore retailers.” That includes e-commerce, mail order and infomercials, but also revenue from subsectors not generally considered traditional retail, including vending machines, home delivery (including newspaper delivery and home heating oil), door-to-door solicitation, in-home demonstrations, party plan sales and portable stalls like non-food street vendors.
Data from U.S. Census Bureau, Advanced Monthly Retail Trade Survey