U.S. Retail Sales Grew 3.4% This Holiday Season
According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, holiday retail sales increased 3.4 percent (excluding auto) this holiday season, with online sales growing 18.8 percent year-over-year. Mastercard SpendingPulse provides insights into overall retail spending trends across all payment types, including cash and check. E-commerce accounted for 14.6 percent of total retail sales this holiday season (Nov. 1 through Dec. 24). Here are some other key findings from the report:
- Total Apparel saw a gain, posting 1 percent growth year-over-year. The category also experienced stronger-than-expected e-commerce growth, up 17 percent compared to 2018.
- The Jewelry sector experienced 1.8 percent growth in total retail sales, with online sales growing 8.8 percent.
- Department stores saw overall sales decline 1.8 percent, but online sales grew 6.9 percent, emphasizing the importance of omnichannel offerings.
- Electronics and appliances were up 4.6 percent, while the home furniture and furnishings category grew 1.3 percent.
Total Retail's Take: These are welcome, if not totally unexpected, holiday sales numbers. The continued growth of e-commerce is the big story here, as consumers opted to make more of their holiday purchases online (including mobile) than in any year prior. What does this mean for 2020? That retailers should continue on the path they're headed: building out seamless shopping experiences for consumers across channels, particularly as the growth of e-commerce (and mobile) show no signs of slowing down. That means syncing data, systems, processes and people to better compete for today's cross-channel shopper.