Holiday sales increase 8.5% despite supply issues and Omicron

By Paul Wiseman and Anne D’Innocenzio | Associated Press

According to one spending metric, holiday season sales are 17 years, despite shoppers working on price increases, product shortages, and a raging new COVID-19 variant in the last few weeks of the season. Increased at the fastest pace in.

Mastercard Spending Pulse, which tracks all types of payments, including cash and debit cards, reported on Sunday that holiday season sales increased 8.5% year-on-year. Mastercard Spending Pulse was expected to increase by 7.4%.

The results from November 1st to December 24th were supported by the purchase of clothing and jewelery.

Holiday season sales increased 10.7% compared to the 2019 holiday period before the pandemic.

By category, clothing increased by 47%, jewelery increased by 32%, and electronics increased by 16%. Online sales increased 11% from a year ago and 61% from 2019. Department stores recorded a 21% increase compared to 2020.

Next month, the National Retail Federation, the country’s largest retailing group, will announce the combined results for the two months in mid-January, revealing a broader perspective. The results are based on an analysis of November and December sales from the Department of Commerce. Analysts will also analyze the fourth-quarter financial results from various retailers scheduled to be announced in February.

Overall, analysts expected a strong holiday season, boosted by early shopping that began in October in anticipation of a product shortage. Consumers have also decided to celebrate their vacation after silence a year ago. Still, retail sales in November slowed, partly due to early shopping. And Omicron, who rapidly became the dominant version of the virus in the United States, has now ruined vacation plans for many Americans who had to cancel the rally at the last minute.

The National Retail Federation said in early December that holiday season sales were already on record highs, up 8.5% to 10.5% year-over-year. Sales for the 2020 holiday season increased by 8.2% when shoppers locked down early in the pandemic jumped primarily online into pajamas and household items.

The group expects online and other non-store sales included in the total to increase between 11% and 15%. The number does not include car dealers, gas stations and restaurants. According to the group, holiday sales have increased by an average of 4.4% over the last five years.

The update from NRF was delivered in early December, just before Omicron became a bigger threat in the United States and began to disrupt the Broadway theater-to-restaurant business. However, while some stores have reported declines in metropolitan locations, overall store traffic has not plummeted. According to Sensormatic Solutions, store traffic for the week ending December 18 was down 23% from the same week before the previous year’s pandemic, but up nearly 20% year-over-year. Peter McCall, Senior Manager of Retail Consulting at Sensormatic, says shoppers still go to retail stores, but now prefer outdoor shopping centers and outlet malls to closed shopping centers.

Retail sales continue to grow in an economic environment that has puzzled some retailers. Many have to raise their wages significantly to find and retain workers, increasing […]

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