Americans spent some 8.5 percent more on retail purchases during this year’s Christmas season compared to the same period in 2020, according to Mastercard, which said that the majority of the purchases consisted of clothing, electrical devices and jewelry.
The figures published on Sunday by Mastercard SpendingPulse focused on the period from Nov. 1 through Dec. 24, which includes not only Christmas buying but also Thanksgiving and the day after known as “Black Friday,” which takes place during the last week of November.
According to the firm’s data, compared with the 2019 pre-pandemic shopping season, buying this year grew by 10.7 percent.
In addition, online consumer purchases increased by 11 percent compared with online buying during the same period last year, and in-store purchases also grew by 8.1 percent.
In this regard, electronic commerce amounted to 20.9 percent of total retail buying this holiday season, compared with 20.6 percent in 2020 and 14.6 percent in 2019.
In fact, Mastercard said that compared with 2019, this year buying via the Internet increased by 61.4 percent.
The firm said that online buying continues to grow quickly given consumers’ ability to be able to buy from home.
Mastercard also said that, just like every year, the biggest shopping day of the year was “Black Friday,” which ran from Nov. 26-28.
The statement added that this year a trend observed in 2020 was seen once again, namely that consumers began their Christmas shopping on about Nov. 1 because of the ever greater number of sales and special offerings being made by stores and big retail outlets.
Consumers were anxious about ensuring that they could get their gifts before the big push in retail buying and, as a result of all the talk about supply chain disruptions and labor problems, consumers increased their online and in-store buying, the firm’s Steve Sadove said.
The National Retail Federation had said in mid-December that US consumers would spend about $1,000 each, on average, on Christmas purchases between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24.
In addition, the NRF said that sales in November and December could increase by between 8.5 percent and 10.5 percent, amounting to between $843 billion and $859 billion, with the figure coming in at the lower edge of that range, according to Mastercard.