Retail sales in the United States increased 8.5% during the holiday season


Consumers have splurged throughout the season, making it a “resurgence season” for retailers as shoppers fill their baskets with gifts and gadgets, according to SpendingPulse Mastercard for Holiday Retail Sales.

Excluding automobiles, sales increased 8.5% year-on-year this holiday season, from November 1 to December 24.

Consumers shopping in stores grew 8.1% year-over-year, while online sales increased 11% from the same period last year, according to preliminary information .

This holiday season, e-commerce accounted for 20.9% of total retail sales, up from 20.6% in 2020 and 14.6% in 2019. Mastercard SpendingPulse measures in-store and online retail sales for all payment methods.

Clothing stores and department stores have experienced strong growth as shoppers seek to showcase their best clothes.

Shop early

Continuing a key trend from 2020, U.S. consumers shopped earlier than in the past as retailers ran special promotions early and then again later in the season as shoppers rushed to get “Guaranteed Christmas” shipping offers.

Shoppers were eager to secure their gifts before the retail rush, with conversations about supply chain and labor supply issues sending consumers online and into stores in droves. “said Steve Sadove, senior advisor to Mastercard and former CEO and chairman of Saks Incorporated, said in prepared remarks.

Cautious optimism for the future

The first purchases were recorded in the Commerce Department’s monthly retail sales in October, while other agency reports showed some slippage. Even in December, traffic had slowed, Oliver Chen, retail analyst for Cowen, said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.”

Chen said he still has moderate expectations for how the industry will perform during the holiday season and beyond, adding that inflation and the Covid omicron variant are weighing on consumers’ minds along with the changes. Supply chain challenges were putting pressure on companies. In the event that buyers’ appetites weaken or the goods arrive at the wrong time, it would force retailers to increase markdowns.


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