US Retail Sales Grew 7.6% this Holiday Season, Mastercard Report Reveals

According to Mastercard SpendingPulseTM, U.S. retail sales excluding automotive “increased 7.6% year-over-year this holiday season, running from November 1 through December 24.”

Mastercard SpendingPulse “measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment and is not adjusted for inflation.”

Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and Chairman of Saks Incorporated, said:

“This holiday retail season looked different than years past. Retailers discounted heavily but consumers diversified their holiday spending to accommodate rising prices and an appetite for experiences and festive gatherings post-pandemic.”

Key trends this holiday season, included:

  • E-commerce shoppers ‘add to cart’: Online sales grew 10.6% compared to the same period last year, the preliminary insights show. This holiday season, e-commerce made up 21.6% of total retail sales, up from 20.9% in 2021 and 20.6% in 2020. The channel continues to experience elevated growth as consumers prioritize convenience and availability of discounts.
  • Weekend shopping reigns supreme: Black Friday sustains its title as the top spending day of the 2022 holiday season, up +12% year-over-year excluding automotive. This was followed closely by Saturdays in December.
  • Ringing in the holidays in restaurants: Building on the ongoing demand for experiences, in-person dining continued to show strong momentum with restaurants up 15.1% YOY. From gatherings with co-workers to dinners out with friends and family, the festive season brought consumers out for the holidays.

Michelle Meyer, North America Chief Economist, Mastercard Economics Institute, remarked:

“Inflation altered the way U.S. consumers approached their holiday shopping – from hunting for the best deals to making trade-offs that stretched gift-giving budgets. Consumers and retailers navigated the season well, displaying resilience amid increasing economic pressures.”

As noted in the update, Mastercard SpendingPulse reports “on national retail sales across all payment types in select markets around the world.” The findings are “based on aggregate sales activity in the Mastercard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other payment forms, such as cash and check.”

Mastercard SpendingPulse defines “U.S. retail sales” as sales “at retailers and food services merchants of all sizes.”

Sales activity “within the services sector (for example, travel services such as airlines and lodging) are not included in the total retail sales figure. Holiday spending insights are preliminary.”

As covered, Mastercard is “a global technology company in the payments industry.”

Their mission is “to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible.”

Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, their innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses “realize their greatest potential.

Their decency quotient, or DQ, drives their culture and everything they do inside and outside of their company.

With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, they are “building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.”

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