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U.S. retail sales in May climb 5%

U.S. retailers reported 5% year-over-year growth in general merchandise, apparel, furniture and other (GAFO) retail sales. According to monthly figures from in-store retail analytics provider Euclid, shoppers made fewer trips to the store than expected, but were very engaged and showed a lot of intent to buy.

Euclid also reported 7% growth year-over-year in clothing and apparel sales and 2% growth year-over-year in general merchandise sales. Shopper traffic declined 11% compared to the same month last year, as travel plans appeared to cannibalize leisure time.

Storefront conversion was up slightly as this May remained more promotional the same month in the prior year, especially leading up to Mother’s Day. Average duration increased 6% from the previous year due to a rebounding interest in more exploratory shopping, following the muted winter months. The increase in visit duration was the most significant driver of positive sales performance in May.