Holiday retail sales jumped 8.5%, led by clothing and jewelry

People walk through a shopping mall in Santa Anita, California on December 20, 2021.

FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP via Getty Images

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Vacation expenses jumped 8.5% this year, with retail sales up both in-store and online from 2020, according to


Spending Pulse, which tracks purchases across all payment methods.

Retail sales rose 10.7% from pre-pandemic spending figures in 2019. Mastercard figures, released on Sunday, include retailers and foodservice traders, but not auto purchases, travel in plane or accommodation.

Online sales increased 11% between November 1 and December 24, compared to the same period last year, and climbed 61.4% compared to 2019. More shoppers returned to the physical stores, driving in-person sales 8.1% higher than in 2020, and 2.4% more than in 2019.

Shoppers were eager to secure their gifts before the retail rush, with conversations about supply chain and labor supply issues sending consumers online and into stores in droves. “said Steve Sadove, Senior Advisor for


(ticker: MA) and former CEO and President of Saks Inc., in a statement.

“Consumers splurged throughout the season with clothing stores and department stores experiencing strong growth as shoppers sought to showcase their best clothes,” he said.

Clothing sales performed particularly well, increasing 47.3% from 2020, followed by jewelry at 32%, department stores at 21.2% and electronics at 16.2%. Mastercard said that whether buyers are buying for themselves or for others, jewelry sales have experienced one of the strongest year-over-year growth and are up 26.2% from to 2019.

Consumers also reached stores earlier than in previous years, drawn by the first promotions from retailers ahead of anticipated supply chain disruptions and “guaranteed Christmas” shipping offers later in the season. Total retail sales for the 75-day purchase period from October 11 to December 24 increased 8.6%.

Mastercard said online sales had also grown as a percentage of overall retail sales, to 20.9% this year, up from 20.6% last year and 14.6% in 2019.

The National Retail Federation predicted that holiday retail sales between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 would increase by up to 10.5% to $ 859 billion / NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz had Even more optimistic outlook, saying sales could increase to 11.5. % in 2020.

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