According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s advance monthly report, released Friday, total retail sales were roughly $404 billion last month. That was a 0.6% increase from August’s $401.8 billion—though down from $403.1 billion in July—and up 2.2% from the same time a year ago.
But not all categories had a good run last month. Clothing and accessory store sales were unchanged from August at $21.4 million—only a 0.7% increase from September 2015. General merchandise sales—which include department stores—were down 0.4% on a monthly basis and 2.5% compared with last year to $55.1 million. Department store sales alone declined 0.7% from August to $12.8 million and that was down 6.4% from a year ago.
Meanwhile, sales at sporting goods stores picked up by 1.4% on a monthly basis to reach $7.7 million, which was flat compared with September 2016.
Non-store retailers, including e-commerce, recovered from a 0.3% drop in sales in August to rise by 0.3% last month, reaching $46.99 million. Compared with September 2015, sales were up 10.6%.