WASHINGTON-Specialty stores and general merchandisers posted sales gains in October while sales at department stores declined, the Commerce Department Department’s monthly report showed today.
Sales at apparel and accessories stores rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent to $21.5 billion last month, while sales at department stores fell 0.7 percent to $12.6 billion. Sales at general merchandise stores, a category that includes department stores and discounters, rose 0.4 percent to $55 billion.
Non-store sales, which include Internet and catalogue sales, rose 1.5 percent to $48.2 billion.
In the overall economy, sales rose 0.8 percent to $465.9 billion, slightly ahead of economists’ expectations.
The data is for the month before the disruptive presidential election in early November, as well as before the lead-up to the all-important holiday season.