Restaurants and Retail Sales Gains; Voice Assistants

The numbers you need to know today

January 12, 2018

Restaurant Recovery: The restaurant industry notched its first quarter of sales growth in two years, according to the latest TDn2K data. Same-store sales in last year's fourth quarter grew 0.4%. But traffic declined 1.9% in the same period. 

Retail Rise: Retail sales rose 0.4% in December, the US Census Bureau reported. Sales for full-year 2017 rose 4.2%. The strongest sectors? Furniture, hardware and—of course—ecommerce. The only sector to register negative growth: The catchall category of sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores.

Voice Encroachment: A new study from Capgemini found 24% of consumers surveyed in France, Germany, the UK and the US would prefer to use a voice assistant to interact with a company than visit its website. While the firm reported that just 3% of consumers' overall expenditures occurred via a voice assistant device, it expects that figure will grow to 18% in three years. And a large majority of voice assistant users—71%—were satisfied with their devices.