U.S. Retail Sales Soar In Holiday Season: 5 Top Picks

This year, the holiday season has been the shortest. Yet the Mastercard SpendingPulse holiday season report showed that retail sales still hit record highs. And it’s mostly because of Americans being confident about their well-being.

Retail Sales Hit Record High

According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, retail sales in the United States from Nov 1 to Dec 24 rose 3.4% from the comparable year-ago period. The Mastercard SpendingPulse survey tracks spending online and in traditional stores, via all types of payments ranging from cash to credit, excluding sales of automobiles.

Additionally, this year, the Saturday before Christmas was one of the busiest shopping days in America’s history and evidently surpassed Black Friday sales, per Customer Growth Partners research report. 

In fact, as per Census Bureau report retail sales for the first 11 months of this year grew modestly. But it was non-store retailers that registered a healthy 12.1% increase in sales. Nonetheless, through November, sales across non-discretionary segments like food and beverage stores, and health and personal care stores rose 3.1% and 2.9%, respectively.

E-Commerce Sales Steal the Show

E-commerce was the best performer in retail sales, growing at a faster pace, rising 18.8% from last year and making nearly 15% of the total retail sales. Specialty stores and especially Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN - Free Report) drew customers’ attention away from department stores by offering steep discounts and a one-day shipping facility.

Mastercard’s research shows, sales of electronics goods were the highest, rising 4.6% year over year over the previous year, with online sales generating a whopping 10.7%. However, online sales topped in the specialty apparel segment, with sales jumping 17% in the period last year. A steep rise in online jewelry sales was also seen as the segment generated 8.8% and grew 1.8% overall from the previous year.

As per reports from Amazon.com, one-day delivery was a hit and comparatively more people tried out the $119-a-year Prime membership than any other year. The e-commerce giant gained more than 5 million new customers in a single week as they could avail faster shipping and free movie streaming facility.

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Sandy9 9 months ago Member's comment

Amazon has become the mammoth and its not good for small retailers and other mom and pop stores. Being a seller myself for 9 years I only realised that, amazon is not for you as the online sellers are over saturated and amazon is taking advantage of that.

Amazon has got all data and he himself compete with the sellers and threw sellers out of the market. Read their forums millions dollar sellers are now back to zero in minutes as their accounts were suspended with out notice.


Gary Anderson 9 months ago Contributor's comment

Giving merchandise away is hardly successful.