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What Is Retail Sales

Retail sales is the selling of goods to the end user, whether this user is a customer or a business. Examples of this may be a customer buying groceries from a supermarket or a business buying printer ink from an office supplies store. Retail sales may refer to sales made through physical retail stores, or through other channels such as mail order catalogues or online retail.

Retail sales also refers to the measurement, monitoring and tracking of retail sales volumes. Sales are often measured by category, such as apparel, furniture stores or food and beverage, as well as an overall total.

The volume of retail sales across all retailers, sales channels and product categories (such as groceries, homewares or clothing) indicates how much demand there is for consumer goods. Consumer spending is an important factor in a country’s gross domestic product, so retail sales are a good indicator of the health of the economy. Retail sales data can also be available more quickly than other economic data.

Retail sales can fluctuate during the year, with holidays such as Christmas usually expected to give a boost to sales figures. Other variables such as unseasonal weather or even major sporting can also impact sales, as well as major promotional periods such as Black Friday. A slowdown in retail sales is a strong indicator of a more general slowdown in the economy.

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