Holiday Appetite: Shoppers Spent 3.1% More In Closing Months

Retail sales grew by a healthy 3.1% from November 1 through December 24 YoY, which included a 2.2% hike in results in-store.

But online sales growth was even stronger — at 6.3%, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse. Still, in-store sales remained dominant. 

The results were partly attributable to marketers getting out of the gate faster with emails and other messaging. 

“Retailers started promotions early this season, giving consumers time to hunt for the best deals and promotions,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and chairman of Saks Incorporated. 

Sadove added: “Ultimately it was about getting the most bang for your buck as consumers spent on a variety of goods and services, resurfacing spending trends from before the pandemic.”



The biggest growth sector was the restaurant category — at 7.8%.

The apparel vertical saw a 2.4% increase, while the grocery category rose 2.1%. 

However, jewelry sales fell by 2% and electronics were 0.4% higher. Automotive sales were excluded. “This holiday season, the consumer showed up, spending in a deliberate manner,” said Michelle Meyer, chief economist, Mastercard Economics Institute. 

Meyer adds: “The economic backdrop remains favorable with healthy job creation and easing inflation pressures, empowering consumers to seek the goods and experiences they value most.”

The findings are based on aggregate sales activity in the Mastercard payments network, along with survey-based estimates for cash, check and other payment forms.


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