Published in Economic Development

Michigan retailers report ‘large upswing’ with September sales

BY Wednesday, October 21, 2020 12:52pm

Nearly half of Michigan retailers optimistically expect higher sales in the coming holiday shopping season.

The expectations for holiday-season sales follow what the Michigan Retailers Association called a “large upswing” in retail sales in September from August.

MRA President and CEO Bill Hallan COURTESY PHOTO

In a monthly survey by the MRA, 51 percent of retailers reported increased sales for September from the prior month. One-third reported a month-to-month sales decline, and 16 percent said sales were unchanged.

The survey results generated a monthly retail index of 63.7 for September, a strong increase from the 48.1 in August, according to the monthly report from the MRA and Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Detroit branch.

“We hope that continues. Many downtowns are gearing up to help businesses lure holiday customers by planning winter markets and other outdoor activities,” MRA President and CEO Bill Hallan said in a statement. “More consumers understand the importance of buying nearby. It’s heartening to see that shoppers realize we’re all in this together.”

Looking ahead, 49 percent of survey respondents predicted continued higher sales through December, and 31 percent expect a sales decline. One in five expect no change from last year. The expectation resulted in a 60.0 outlook index.

Nationally, clothing and accessory stores sales grew by a seasonally adjusted 11 percent from  August to September, but were down 12 percent year-over-year, according to the National Retail Federation. Sporting goods stores sales grew 5.6 month-over-month and 18.3 percent year-over-year, according to the Retail Federation.

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