Record online sales helps boost overall holiday spending 3.4% on last year – but it’s NOT the biggest increase in U.S. history that Trump bragged about
- Retail sales across the country rose 3.4 percent between November 1 and December 24 compared with last year
- Online sales this year made up 14.6 percent of total retail and rose 18.8 percent from the 2018 period
- President Donald Trump bragged on Christmas Day that holiday retail sales were up 3.4 percent over last year
- The holiday shopping season is a crucial period for retailers and can account for up to 40 percent of annual sales
U.S. shoppers spent more online during this year’s holiday shopping season with e-commerce sales hitting a record high and pushing total sales higher.
Retail sales, excluding automobiles, across the country rose 3.4 percent between November 1 and December 24 compared with last year, according to early data from Mastercard Inc.
Online sales this year made up 14.6 percent of total retail and rose 18.8 percent from the 2018 period.
Mastercard SpendingPulse tracked spending online and in stores across all payment types, including those who paid by cash or check, during that time frame.
U.S. shoppers spent more online during this year’s holiday shopping season with e-commerce sales hitting a record high and pushing total sales higher
U.S. President Donald Trump, whose support in the polls has been buoyed by strong economic data despite his impeachment, heralded the news in a tweet in all capital letters.
‘2019 HOLIDAY RETAIL SALES WERE UP 3.4% FROM LAST YEAR, THE BIGGEST NUMBER IN U.S. HISTORY. CONGRATULATIONS AMERICA!,’ Trump tweeted.
However, Mastercard spokesman William Tsang, citing 2018’s 5.1 percent growth in total sales, said this year’s holiday sales growth was not the biggest ever.
The White House had no immediate comment on the apparent discrepancy.
The holiday shopping season is a crucial period for retailers and can account for up to 40 percent of annual sales.
Faced with the shortest holiday shopping season since 2013, stores were trumpeting deals even before Halloween with hopes of getting people to think about Christmas.
This year, Thanksgiving, which traditionally starts the U.S. holiday shopping period, was on November 28 – a week later than last year’s November 22.
It left retailers with six fewer days to drive sales between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
‘E-commerce sales hit a record high this year with more people doing their holiday shopping online,’ said Steve Sadove, a senior adviser for Mastercard.
President Donald Trump bragged on Christmas Day that holiday retail sales were up 3.4 percent over last year
Donald Trump on Wednesday bragged holiday retail sales were up 3.4 per cent over last year – a day after he told U.S. service members he still hadn’t got wife Melania a Christmas present
‘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.’
The last shortened shopping season was in 2013 when retail chains and delivery companies scrambled to get packages to shoppers in time for Christmas.
Since then, retailers have invested heavily to provide same-day delivery, lockers for store pick-up and improve their online presence as they battle against retail giant Amazon.com Inc for market share.
Consumers also benefited from a low unemployment rate and rising wages, even as global uncertainty and trade tensions have hit business investment.
The data showed sales at department stores fell 1.8 percent and online sales growth of 6.9 percent, emphasizing the importance of click-and-collect and online ordering.
The apparel category registered stronger-than-expected e-commerce growth, Mastercard’s data showed with online sales rising 17 percent.
The holiday season was challenging for retailers after Amazon expanded its free return policy to include products that were not previously eligible, giving consumers until January to return even small purchases bought on the website.
The National Retail Federation had forecast U.S. holiday retail sales over the two months to increase between 3.8 percent and 4.2 percent. That compares with an average annual increase of 3.7 percent over the past five years.
People carry shopping bags on a busy street corner in New York ahead of Christmas. Retail sales, excluding automobiles, across the country rose 3.4 percent between November 1 and December 24 compared with last year