NPD: 2020 closed with double-digit sales gains

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PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — The last two weeks of 2020 each brought 13% year-over-year dollar sales growth, according to The NPD Group, which says that sales surge helped drive a total holiday 2020 growth rate of 2% compared to the same 13 weeks the year before.

NPD’s Checkout data from receipts highlights the changes in shopping activity across the total retail industry due to COVID-19.

The week of Christmas showed in-store purchase activity was just -2% lower than it was in the same week in 2019 – the strongest year-over-year comp for the channel since store closures first occurred across the country.

Overall purchase activity during the final week of 2020 (which included the first days of 2021) showed its strongest year-over-year comp of the entire year, increasing 7% versus the year before. Online purchasing, up 49%, showed its strongest year-over-year performance since Amazon’s Prime Week in October.

“Last-minute shopping was alive and well during Holiday 2020, and it’s not over yet,” said Marshal Cohen, NPD’s chief industry advisor for retail. “As gift card redemption and returns kick in through mid-January, not to mention post-season gifting delays amid delivery and gathering restrictions, the true holiday shopping season will continue to expand beyond any traditional measurement.”


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