USA Retail Sales jump 1.2%, encouraging hope for Christmas plus 5 easy strategies to boost your sales.

The Commerce Department revealed that October '10 USA Retail Sales for the retail industry jumped 1.2 percent from the previous month, the most important gain since March. The rise was driven by a 5 pct spike in auto sales, which analysts said was particularly encouraging as it showed consumers were ready to tackle big-ticket purchases. In addition, September's sales gain was revised upward coming from a 0.6 percent increase to 0.7 percent.

Still, consumers remained choosy about where they spent their dollars. Furniture stores and electronics retailers each suffered a 0.7 percent drop in sales. Department store sales also declined 0.7 percent, while health-care stores dipped 0.1 percent.

Instead, consumers returned to restaurants and bars, sending sales up 0.3%. On-line retailers, that have held up a lot better than their bricks-and-mortar counterparts, registered a 0.8 percent jump. People also bought more clothing, a 0.7 percent increase.

Excluding autos, retail sales rose a respectable 0.4 percent, in spite of the mixed performance across sectors. Retailers are hoping that the momentum will fuel the all-important holidays.

As outlined by a survey by the National Retail Federation, a market trade group, nearly 11 percent of consumers have finished at least half of their holiday shopping, up from just greater than 9 percent last year. The group predicted shopper's average spending would inch approximately $688.87 this year, a 1 percent increase over last year.

The NRF's annual holiday survey found that more shoppers are expected to acquire gifts for family and friends - and in many cases themselves. The amount of consumers who said they planned to indulge themselves rose eight percentage points to 57 percent this coming year.

The forecasts, as well as the new October data, paint a picture of consumers treading carefully on their way to the mall. Economists say that expenses are unlikely to rebound without a corresponding improvement inside the job market.

Although the unemployment rate remains stuck at nearly 10 percent, data released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed hope. Mass layoffs have declined in proportions and frequency. And private-sector employment rose 0. 3 percent throughout the third quarter, in comparison with a year ago, the 1st increase since 2008.

How may you increase add-on sales throughout the Holidays?

Below are a few methods to improve the units per transaction, and improve the average transaction as a result.

If you like this, you should purchase that - Creating feature areas in your store which may have a couple of major things you need to push for holiday flanked by complimentary products helps sell not only that particular item. Use signage and have the employees talk with customers to help them understand how the products come together.

Stuff the Stockings - I continue to push stocking stuffers for holiday as customers are always seeking those unique, fun little items that round out their holiday gift giving having to break the bank. Create an entirely stocking stuffer display and make it interactive, like a stocking stuffer smorgasbord to get customers to acquire more than one additional items.

Sample products - Whenever they test it, they will buy it. Make sure you've got products readily available for testing everywhere and use signage, or have the employees interact to get customers to try different products. The chance for a sale rises significantly if you can place the product in the customer's hand.

A warm drink could be the method to get them to stay - offering a warm beverage like coffee or apple cider gets customers to linger longer. It gives them time and energy to scope out more of your store as they walk around enjoying their beverage. And this means they will often find more gifts than they'd planned on, causing increased sales.

Wrap the Cash Wrap - You've created a number of different ways in your store to obtain your clients to acquire more, and the cash wrap may be the final opportunity. Make sure you have impulse items at your cash wrap that customers can grab and go. Products under $20 usually perform most optimally. Bonus points for goods that might be sampled as well as 8-10 of these available for purchase.

And you? What are your favourite sales techniques to increase Holiday sales?

About me: Cornelia C. Ortega is writing for the retail sales training tips blog, her personal hobby blog dedicated to recommendations to help retailers to coach sales employees and keep our economy healthy.

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