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Despite weather challenges, this was a winning holiday season for retail overall; however, the story was different category by category, indicated the report by Mastercard SpendingPluse. Total apparel had a strong season with a growth rate of 7.9 per cent compared to 2017, recording the best growth rate since 2010. The category followed through on a strong momentum that started during the back-to-school season and accelerated through fall right up to Christmas.
Mastercard SpendingPulse provides insights into overall retail spending trends across all payment types, including cash and check.
Home improvement spending continued to surge across the US with spending during the holiday season up 9.0 per cent. This trend started before the holiday season and helped the sector power through to a strong finish.
The study pointed out that e-commerce has been gaining volume over the last several years as online spending continued to diversify across Thanksgiving week and the entire month of November. Online sales on Black Friday grew 28.4 per cent year-over-year. Further, wintry weather on the East Coast helped bolster Black Friday online sales – especially during the traditional morning doorbuster sales.
"From shopping aisles to online carts, consumer confidence translated into holiday cheer for retail," said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and chairman of Saks Incorporated. "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." (RR)
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