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Retailers see a 3.4% increase in holiday sales

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Online sales grew 18.8% compared to 2018

“E-commerce sales hit a record high this year with more people doing their holiday shopping online,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former chief executive officer and chairman of Saks Inc. “Due to a later than usual Thanksgiving holiday, we saw retailers offering omnichannel sales earlier in the season, meeting consumers’ demand for the best deals across all channels and devices.”

The Mastercard SpendingPulse report details holiday shopping from November 1 through December 24. Key findings of the report indicate that this was a winning holiday season for retail, especially for e-commerce:

  • Total Apparel saw a gain, posting 1% growth year over year. The category also experienced stronger than expected e-commerce growth, up 17% compared to 2018.
  • The Jewelry sector experienced 1.8% growth in total retail sales, with online sales growing 8.8% – supporting eCommerce strength. This trend started before the holiday season and helped the sector power through to its finish.
  • Department stores saw overall sales decline 1.8 percent and online sales growth of 6.9%, emphasizing the importance of omnichannel offerings.
  • Electronics and appliances were up 4.6%, while the home furniture and furnishings category grew 1.3%.


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