Retail Sales Down: You People Stopped Buying Crap In April

Sales are down by record numbers compared to last year, when Easter was in April, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Sales at stores open at least a year, known as same-store sales, fell by a record 2.4 percent in April, the worst since the International Council of Shopping Centers started tallying the monthly numbers in 1970.

Ouch. Some stores were hit harder than others. Perpetually money hemorrhaging discount clothier Old Navy lost an eye-opening 20%. Walmart was down 4.6% and Target 6.1%.

Analysts think the housing market has something to do with it. Cue scary music. —MEGHANN MARCO
It was a gloomy April for nation’s retailers [SF Gate]
(Photo: cmorran123)


Edit Your Comment

  1. mikesfree says:

    Does that include online sales?

  2. B says:

    Sorry, economy, but there wasn’t any crap I wanted to buy last month. I bought some crap this month, though, cause it’s Mother’s day (Actually, it wasn’t crap, but some DVDs my Mom asked for). Maybe next month I’ll buy more crap, since I was able to pay off my credit card debt by not buying as much crap.

  3. mopar_man says:

    Walmart was down 4.6%

    That made my day.

    So sorry for not buying more crap. My wife and I are on a saving bender so the economy will continue to suffer because of us.

  4. Skiffer says:

    Oh no! The economy must be falling apart!!!

    I love selective statistics…

    Ummm…yeah, so early Easter caused a rise of 5.9% in March, and a fall of 2.9% in April = +3% over two months, average montly rise of 1.5%…but let’s scare everyone anyways…

  5. timmus says:

    Less disposable income?

    Also, what B said, there isn’t any crap I wanted to buy last month either, except some books and some stuff at Lowes as I’m gutting an RV in the back yard and fixing it up.

    I speculate that restaurant/entertainment goes up during recession as people try to escape their problems. And my wife, who worked at bars when she was younger, says that bars and liquor stores do really well too. How are those sectors doing?

  6. Skiffer says:

    @Skiffer: oops, -2.4% in april, still – same point

  7. nan says:

    I’m wondering like mikesfree. Does this include online sales? I can remember a couple of instances over x-mas where it was reported that retailers sold less in stores, but had their online sales jump in numbers quite a bit.

  8. enm4r says:

    Bwah? You mean our economy can’t sustain years on end of 16513423% growth? You mean growth can…slow down but still result in net growth over averaged lengths of time?!

  9. Zgeg says:

    Sorry Economy.. I needed to put gas in my car last month.

  10. Roundonbothends says:

    I didn’t buy any crap in April because I was too busy paying off OTHER crap.

  11. sleze69 says:

    Fortunately for our economy, gas sales are still skyrocketing…

  12. acambras says:

    Like I’ve said before,

    If we don’t continually increase frivolous consumption, the terrorists will win and the Baby Jesus will cry.

  13. thrillhouse says:

    “Retail Sales Down: You People Stopped Buying Crap In April”

    No, no. We simply stopped paying retail for our crap.

  14. deltasleep says:

    As we all know, retail sales numbers have nothing to do with how much money people have, rather, how much money people can borrow.
    I would be interested to know some data about the movement of the national average credit score!

  15. thunderstruck says:

    “Shoppers bite back!!”

    Oh, well, actually, after my skyrocketing utility bills level off, and gas prices hang for a while so I can catch up, and I get that routine checkup paid for that my doc gave me four years ago, and–well, you get the idea–maybe then I can afford some more crap. I’m sure the crap I have will break soon, anyway.

  16. quantum-shaman says:

    try this website: or

    which says that online sales grew by almost 24% during the 1st quarter.

    personally, i’m all crapped out!

  17. etinterrapax says:

    What did they expect? Too much crap and no money, and the Gap brings out spring colors of black, white, and beige. Hoo-ray. I don’t need anything, I don’t want anything, and even if I did, I couldn’t afford to buy anything. I doubt we’re the only ones.

  18. mac-phisto says:

    sorry economy! i tried! i really did! perhaps if you were to stop calculating the CPI less food & energy you’d realize that i’m broke & my dollar is worth far less than it was a few years ago. i’d love to buy a new pair of pants, but unless i can eat them or put them in a fuel tank, they’re not really much good to me at this time.

  19. ElizabethD says:

    Old Navy lost money, IMO, because their stuff increasingly sucks and is way too diversified. Too much trendy stuff that changes by the week; too much crappy fabric. Stick to the basics, guys, and the people will return. Like: I often buy my teenaged son’s denim cargo shorts, boxers, and khakis there.

  20. ElizabethD says:


    A big YES about Gap and its crappy color palettes. I remember when they were all about really cool colors. Don’t get me started on their prices.

  21. DashTheHand says:

    Sorry economy, you can still bend me over and rape my wallet at the gas pump though. Oh, and with my horribly inept high speed internet provider. And of course lets not forget the insanely priced cell phone bills. There, there economy, tell your corporate execs to stop being dicks and maybe you’ll get more monies?

  22. Youthier says:

    @Roundonbothends: EXACTLY! I was paying off the no interest for 6 months stuff I bought for Christmas. By the way, done. Kids, don’t play with credit cards if you can’t play responsibly.

  23. Trai_Dep says:

    Well, it’s the economists and the government’s own damn fault. I told them to count hookers, cocaine and furry dungeon timeshares, but did they listen?!

  24. The Bigger Unit says:

    @Zgeg: Took the words out of my mouth.

    Crap like gas tends to take precedence over crap like an iPod speaker.

  25. LooseLips says:

    Maybe it’s because Halliburton (IRS) took me for another $1500 this year instead of usually receiving a refund. That’s why I’m not spending.

  26. mac-phisto says:

    @trai_dep: you know, i told them the same thing, but the auditors still didn’t consider those deductible business expenses.

  27. Starfury says:

    We bought less crap last month because:

    1. Gas prices. The extra $10/tank has to come from somewhere.
    2. Eating Out: Not doing it as much. Too expensive and I can make BETTER food at home.
    3. Saving: Putting $$ away other than our 401k accounts.

    4. I have enough crap already. I have enough clothing to last to the end of the year. My kids/wife have enough also. I just gave 4 large bags of toys/clothing to the goodwill and don’t need to replace it.

    I’ve got enough “stuff” alreadyl

  28. RandomHookup says:

    Consumerist: Ruining the Economy One Enlightened Consumer at a Time

  29. Dustbunny says:

    I’m distressed that Target sales were down even more than Wal-Marts…poor Tar-jet, I’ll try to make it up to you with a shopping spree this weekend, I promise.

  30. synergy says:

    @acambras: Nobody wants that! :D

    @Dustbunny: Think of how many more people probably go to Wally World than to Target. The number of actual people might be closer than the percentage shows.

  31. LuvJones says:

    So I should be able to get some really good deals at Old Navy now? Yeah for me!

  32. ReverseCarpetbagging says:

    I’m not sure if it’s that I stopped buying crap. I think it’s more that I started buying crap in a smarter way. Between sites like Bargainst and Dealhack, I’m still buying just as much crap. It’s just that I can get the same crap cheaper or more crap for the same amount of money.

  33. Economy, you’re fun. Let’s have a drink.

    But seriously: I’m looking to buy a house soon, and, hey! It’s time, I guess!