Retail sales excluding automobiles gained 8.5% year-over-year this holiday season running from November 1 through December 24 according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks transactions across all payment types,
Mastercard pointed to other holiday results that included:
- Consumers Shopped Early. In the continuation of a key trend from 2020, consumers in the United States shopped earlier than was traditionally true. Retailers offered special promotions early and then again later in the season as shoppers raced to secure guaranteed-by-Christmas shipping offers. Total retail sales advanced 8.6% year over year for the 75 days between October 11 and December 24.
- Thanksgiving Weekend Remained Key. Black Friday again was the top spending day of the 2021 holiday season. In the Thanksgiving weekend period running Friday, November 26 through Sunday, November 28, U.S. retail sales gained 14.1% versus the year-before period. In-store sales rebounded, up16.5% year-over-year while e-commerce sales experienced a 4.9% increase versus the 2020 period.
- E-commerce Sales Snowballed. E-commerce made up 20.9% of total retail sales, up from 20.6% in 2020 and 14.6% in 2019. The channel continues to experience elevated growth as consumers enjoy the ease of holiday browsing and buying from the comfort of their own homes.
In announcing results for the 2021 holiday season, Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and chairman of Saks Inc., said, “Shoppers were eager to secure their gifts ahead of the retail rush, with conversations surrounding supply chain and labor supply issues sending consumers online and to stores in droves. Consumers splurged throughout the season, with apparel and department stores experiencing strong growth as shoppers sought to put their best-dressed foot forward.”