For NAICS 444 sales, a slowdown (sort of)
The latest sales tally of retailers classified as building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (NAICS 444) showed a 2.9% decline in July.
Facing competition for share of wallet from newly reopened categories of retail – electronics and appliance stores were up 22.9% compared to June – the hardware and building supply industry saw its second straight post pandemic month-over-month decline.
Still, the hardware and LBM business posted a strong 14.8% increase over July 2019 and continues to outpace 2019 sales by double-digit margins. For the first seventh months of the year, NAICS 444 sales are up 11.3%.
The estimates were released Friday morning by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Overall, U.S. retail and food service sales for July hit an estimated $536.0 billion, up 1.2% from $529.4 billion in June. In addition to electronics retailers, the big winners in July included nonstore retailers, up 0.7% compared to June, and up 24.7% compared to the same month last year.
Looking at the big picture, the National Retail Federation sees a recovery in the making, and called for Congress to keep stores humming.
“Retail sales for July were another positive step in the right direction as our economy continues to slowly reopen,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Americans are showing their continued resilience and willingness to spend in the face of this unprecedented pandemic and government actions to date have clearly supported consumers and the economy in this process. Retailers all across the country have demonstrated that their stores and supply chains can be operated safely and effectively for associates and their customers by following established guidelines and protocols. We encourage Congress and elected leaders at all levels of government to enact policies that support consumers and keep the economy open.”