US holiday retail sales grow 3%, online sales jump 49%: Report

Retail sales in the US rose three per cent during this year’s expanded holiday season, running from October 11 through December 24, while online sales in the country grew 49 per cent as compared to 2019, said a report by Mastercard.

The findings underscore the shift to online spending, with e-commerce accounting for 19.7 per cent of overall retail sales — up from approximately 13.4 per cent in 2019, said the Mastercard Spending Pulse report on Saturday.

“American consumers turned the holiday season on its head, redefining ‘Home For The Holidays’ in a uniquely 2020 way. They shopped from home for the home, leading to record e-commerce growth,” Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and Chairman of Saks Inc, said in a statement.

“And consumers shopped earlier than ever before. Across our expanded 75-day holiday shopping season, sales were up three per cent, a testament to the holiday season and strength of retailers and consumers alike.”

Home furniture and furnishings experienced the strongest growth of any sector as compared to 2019, up 16.2 per cent, and it grew 31 per cent online specifically, the results showed.

In addition, home improvement rose 14.1 per cent, with e-commerce sales grew 79.7 per cent.

Meanwhile, the apparel sector experienced a decline of 19.1 per cent year over year, while electronics and appliances were up six per cent overall, said the report.

Department stores saw overall sales decline of 10.2 per cent and online sales growth of 3.3 per cent, reinforcing the importance of omnichannel offerings, it added.