Mastercard: Holiday Sales Grew 3.4%

According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, holiday retail sales in 2019, excluding automobiles, gained 3.4%, with e-commerce making strides.

Year over year, online sales advanced 18.8% in the holiday period, defined as November 1 to December 24, Mastercard indicated. In last year’s holiday period, online sales gained 18.4%, the company added. E-commerce sales made up 14.6% of total retail as tracked by Mastercard through the 2019 holiday period. E-commerce sales constituted 15.4% of total retail on Black Friday and 24.5% on Cyber Monday.

Home furniture and furnishings retail sales gained 1.3% overall in the holiday period, Mastercard maintained, while electronics and appliances retail sales increased 4.6%. Specialty apparel retailers experienced 1% overall growth year over year as the jewelry sector saw 1.8% growth in total retail sales. The e-commerce contribution was especially strong in specialty apparel, with online sales up 17%, Mastecard noted, as was the case with electronics retail, up 10.7%, and  jewelry retail, up 8.8%, online.

Department stores saw an overall sales decline of 1.8% even as online sales in the channel increased 6.9%.

“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 CEO 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.”