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Department stores saw total sales fall 1.8% year-over-year, but their e-commerce sales jumped 6.9% as more shoppers used devices to find holiday deals.
November's slower-than-expected retail growth signals the sector won't easily offset a weak manufacturing industry and prop up fourth-quarter GDP.
The value of retail sales dropped 24% in October from the same period last year, according to government data released Monday.
Opening sales were brisk, hitting US$10 billion in just under 30 minutes, half the time from the previous year.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday retail sales fell 0.3% last month, the first decline since February and compared with a 0.6% rise in August.
China's economy grew 6.2% last quarter, its slowest pace in at least 27 years, raising hopes the government will ramp up its efforts to boost demand.
European equities and US futures dipped on Thursday as anxious traders reacted to Trump's "haphazard" approach and disappointing economic data.
European equities and US futures fell on Wednesday after renewed potential for a trade deal and Chinese government stimulus lifted Asian stocks.
Global stock markets were broadly higher Wednesday after China released positive GDP, industrial, retail and investment data.
Retail sales slipped in February as receipts fell in more than half of major categories, according to a Commerce Department report released Monday.