2016 Holiday Sales Hit 11-Year High
While the holiday shopping season started a bit slow, Internet and late-season shoppers saved the day.
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, this may have been the best shopping year for retailers since 2005. Customer Growth Partners estimated the holiday sales growth will be 4.9% for 2016, which is up from the original projection of 4.1%. In 2005, sales increased 6.1%.
“American consumers are once again proving many of the pundits wrong, as shoppers flock both to websites and to stores — and not just for returns,” said Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners. “They are shopping at a rate not seen since the mid-2000s.”
Mastercard’s SpendingPulse survey, which looks at all sales excluding cars and gas, found a similar spending increase of 4%. Men’s apparel and home furnishings were high during the holidays, but jewelry sales were lackluster. On a less-positive note, Mastercard also found post-Christmas sales are not as strong as hoped.
While sales were higher than expected, not all retailers benefited from the late shopping explosion. Customer Growth Partners reported that department store sales decreased during the holidays as more shoppers moved online. Mastercard estimates online sales increased 19% this holiday season, while Customer Growth Partners is estimating online sales jumped 15%.