(Reuters) – U.S. shoppers spent more online during the holiday shopping season, a report from Mastercard Inc’s (MA.(N) showed on Wednesday, with the e-commerce sales hit a record high.
FILE PHOTO: Shoppers make their way through the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, which is decorated for the holiday season, in Arlington, Virginia, USA, December 23, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
With the holiday shopping season is a critical time for retailers, and it can be up to 40% of the annual turnover. However, this year’s, and Thanksgiving, which is the traditional start of the U.S. holiday shopping period was on Nov. 28, almost a week later than last year, Nov. 22, giving retailers six days in order to get the sales between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
E-commerce sales this year to 14.6% of the total retail industry and rose to 18.8% by the end of 2018 period, according to Mastercard’s tracking of retail sales from Nov. 1 up to and including christmas Eve.
Total holiday retail sales, excluding automobiles, rose by 3.4%.
E-commerce sales hit a record high this year, with more and more people are doing their holiday shopping online,” said Steve Sadove, chief counsel for Mastercard.
“As a result of a later than usual Thanksgiving holiday, we saw how retailers and omnichannel sales earlier in the year, meeting the consumers’ demand for the very best deals on all the channels and devices,” Sadove said.
Retailers have invested heavily to provide same-day delivery, lockers for storage, pick-up or improve their online presence, as they have in the battle against the retail giant Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN.D) for market share.
The US President, Donald Trump, whose support in the polls has been helped by strong economic data, despite the initiative by the House of Representatives, was in the news in a tweet in all capital letters.
“IN 2019 AT THE LATEST ON HOLIDAY RETAIL SALES OF 3.4% COMPARED TO THE PREVIOUS YEAR, THE HIGHEST NUMBER IN THE NATION’S HISTORY. CONGRATULATIONS AMERICA!,” Trump tweeted.
However, a Visa spokesman William Tsang, with an indication of the end of 2018’s 5.1% growth in its total sales, said this year’s holiday sales growth was the greatest ever.
The White House had no immediate comment on the apparent discrepancy.
In spite of the slowdown in global growth and U.S. consumer spending is benefiting from the growth in wages and salaries and a strong job market, and some retail consultants and analysts have to say.
The holiday season is a challenge for the retailer, after Amazon, expands to include a free return policy for the products that have not yet been considered, so that the consumer has up to January to return it, even for a small purchase available for purchase on the website.
The National Retail Federation had forecast U.S. holiday retail sales in the two months to increase to between 3.8% and 4.2%. This is to be compared with an average annual increase of 3.7% over the past five years.
The SpendingPulse report tracks spending by combining sales activity in Mastercard’s payments network with estimates of cash and other payment forms, but excluding automobile sales.
Reporting by Nivedita Balu and Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru and Andrea Shalal in Washington; Editing by Dan Grebler