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NAICS 444 sales slip, but not much

Industry sales avoid most of the U.S. retail damage in April.

BY HBSDealer Staff

The month of April saw a month-to-month sales decline of 3.5% for NAICS 444 retailers, the broad category of dealers described as building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers. That’s nothing to celebrate, but it’s dramatically better than the double-digit declines of most other retail categories.

A monthly retail sales report this morning from the Census Bureau estimated that U.S. retail and food service sales for April 2020, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, dropped 16.4% compared to March, and dropped 21.6% compared to the same month last year.

The hardware and building supply industry, lifted by its generally accepted status as essential in a nation of lockdowns, fared far better. NAICS 444 retailers were actually up 0.4% on a year-over-year basis.

Of the 13 major retail categories tracked in the census report, only food and beverage stores (up 12.0%) and nonstore retailers (up 21.6%) performed better than NAICS 444 on a year-over basis.

Read the report here.

Here are the hardest hit sectors in April, compared to March 2020:
Clothing & accessories stores, down 78.8%;
Electronics & appliance stores, down 60.6%; and
Furniture & Home furn. Stores, down 58.7%.

Here are the sectors that fared best compared to March:
Nonstore retailers, up 8.4%;
Building material & garden eq. & supplies stores, down 3.5%; and
Food and beverage stores, down 13.1%.

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