NPD: Last-Minute Surge Drove Holiday Retail Sales Gain

A holiday shopping push during the last two weeks of 2020 drove 13% year-over-year dollar sales growth and combined holiday 2020 season-to-date retail growth of 2% compared to the same 13 weeks a year ago, The NPD Group reported.

Receipts from NPD’s Checkout service data highlights changes in shopping activity due to COVID-19.

• The week of Christmas showed in-store purchase activity was 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 showed its strongest year-over-year comp of the entire year at plus-7% versus the same week last year. Online purchasing, at plus-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, 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.”