Retailers saw biggest increase in holiday sales since 2012

Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images / ContributorHoliday shopping finished strong this year.
  • Holiday sales grew 5.1% to more than $US850 billion this year, according to early data from Mastercard Spendingpulse.
  • That’s the best holiday season growth in six years, Mastercard said.
  • Online sales grew 19.1% when compared to last year.

Holiday sales posted the its best growth in years, beating expectations.

Sales grew 5.1% to more than $US850 billion a year, according to data from Mastercard Spendingpulse. That’s the best holiday season growth in six years, Mastercard said, and beats last year’s number of 4.9% growth.

“From shopping aisles to online carts, consumer confidence translated into holiday cheer for retail,” Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard said in a statement. “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.”

Online shopping also saw a significant increase. Sales grew 19.1% when compared to last year, proving e-commerce is not done taking a bite out of retail. Amazon announced on Wednesday it saw “record-setting” sales during the holiday.


Read more:
Amazon announces ‘record-breaking’ holiday sales with more orders than ever

The data for the spending survey came from sales of all types, including credit card, cash, and check. It took data from sales starting November 1 and ending Christmas Eve.

Part of the increasing trend of e-commerce may be due to an increase in retailers offering upgraded versions of buy-online-pickup-in-store – or BOPIS. These orders increased 47%, according to Adobe Analytics between November 1 and December 19.

Broken down into categories, apparel saw a 7.9% jump in sales this year, while department stores sales declined 1.3%. Home improvement also saw an increase of 9%, while electronics and appliances declined 0.7%. Furniture, however, slightly increased at 2.3%.

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