Monday Morning Scoop - Retail Sales Were Up 7.6% This Holiday Shopping Season

Retail Sales Were Up 7.6% This Holiday Shopping Season

US retail sales increased 7.6% year-over-year for the period running November 1 through December 24, excluding automotive.

According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment, in-store sales increased by 6.8% year-over-year while online sales ticked by 10.6%. E-commerce made a total of 21.6% of all retail sales this holiday shopping season, up from 20.9% in 2021 and 20.6% in 2020.  Black Friday sales were also up 12% year over year, again excluding auto.

The SpendingPulse metric is not adjusted for inflation.

“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,” said Michelle Meyer, North America Chief Economist, Mastercard Economics Institute. “Consumers and retailers navigated the season well, displaying resilience amid increasing economic pressures.”

From a category perspective, apparel was up 4.4%, department store sales were up 1%, and restaurants were up 15.1%, while electronics was down 5.3% and jewelry decreased 5.4%.

“This holiday retail season looked different than years past,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and Chairman of Saks Incorporated. “Retailers discounted heavily but consumers diversified their holiday spending to accommodate rising prices and an appetite for experiences and festive gatherings post-pandemic.”

According to Marcus & Millichap, consumers appeared to reserve discretionary buys for promotional events during the holiday shopping season.

“Higher sales volumes were registered during these promotional events, but the overall decline in monthly retail sales suggests many consumers curtailed their discretionary spending during the rest of the month,” the firm notes in a new research brief.

By: Lynn Pollack
Source: GlobeStreet