Retailers are enjoying their best holiday season in six years, with Nov. 1 through Christmas Eve sales up by 5.1 percent over the comparable period a year ago, according to a consumer-data tracking report.
Consumers spent some $850 billion during the period, in stores and online, according to the report, put out by Mastercard SpendingPulse. Apparel sales rose by 7.9 percent versus a year ago, the category’s strongest performance since 2010. Spending on home improvement increased by 9 percent.
“From shopping aisles to online carts, consumer confidence translated into holiday cheer for retail,” said Steve Sadove, a senior adviser for Mastercard and a former CEO and chairman of Saks Inc. “By combining the right inventory with the right mix of online versus in-store, many retailers were able to give consumers what they wanted via the right shopping channels.”
“From shopping aisles to online carts, consumer confidence translated into holiday cheer for retail”
Home-furnishings sales rose by 2.3 percent. Department-store sales, however, declined by 1.3 percent, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, and the electronics and appliances category was off by 0.7 percent.
By Edmund Mander