Even though consumers spent most of 2010 on the sidelines, retailers found a way to tap into pent-up demand when it counted the most. According to the National Retail Federation, retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) for December rose 5.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year and 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted from November.
As a result, preliminary 2010 holiday sales, which combine the full months of November and December, rose 5.7 percent to $462bn, surpassing NRF's forecast of 3.3 percent. This represents the best holiday sales gain since 2004 when holiday sales increased 5.9 percent.
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