Definition of inventories (as provided by the Census Bureau): The value, at cost, of merchandise on hand and available for sale at the end of the reference month. All goods owned by a firm, regardless of location, except goods outside the United States are included. Items not held for resale, such as fixtures, equipment, and supplies are excluded. Also excluded is the value of goods on a firm's premises but not owned by the firm. (http://www.census.gov/wholesale/definitions.html)
Source: US. Bureau of the Census
US. Bureau of the Census, Merchant Wholesalers, Except Manufacturers' Sales Branches and Offices Sales: Nondurable Goods: Apparel, Piece Goods, and Notions Inventories [I4243IM144SCEN], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/I4243IM144SCEN, February 8, 2016.