The holidays weren't so jolly for many of our small retailers.
A typical holiday season increase averages 4%.
And this year’s sales increases are tempered further by double-digit inflation along with increased labor, utility, and other operating costs.
While prices went up, the average number of retail transactions dropped for many: Half of the respondents to RAM’s annual survey reported the number of transactions declined from the prior year. Another 25% reported flat numbers.
The results were better for the entire year of 2022, with an average annual dollar sales increase of 5.4% vs 2021.
“Although the overall year was a success for Main Street merchants, the slower holiday season may be a cautionary warning for 2023,” said RAM President Jon Hurst. “Inflation and rising interest rates are affecting consumers and small businesses alike, and keeping balance sheets in positive territory both at home and on Main Street is becoming a challenge.”
On the other hand, there was positive news on the inflation front yesterday.
Consumer prices rose 6.5% in the 12 months through December. That’s the slowest inflation rate in more than a year, sending a clear signal that the Federal Reserve’s tightening campaign is working, reports Bloomberg.