The inclusion of online sales, the short the AMERICAN holiday shopping season a boost, the report

(Reuters) – U.S. shoppers spent more online than in the shops during the shortest winter shopping season in the past six years, with online sales hitting a record high, a report from Mastercard Inc’s (MA.(N) let’s see.

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, a week later than last year, Nov. 22, giving retailers six days in order to get the sales between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“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 offers across all channels and devices,” said Steve Sadove, chief counsel for Mastercard.

E-commerce sales this year to 14.6% of the total retail industry and rose to 18.8%, according to Mastercard’s tracking of retail sales from Nov. 1 up to and including christmas Eve.

Total holiday retail sales, excluding cars, rose by 3.4%.

The latter is shortened shopping season in 2013, which is when shops and companies to delivery scrambled to get packages to shoppers in time for the start of the Year.

Since then, the retailer has 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 Inc. (AMZN.D) for market share.

E-commerce sales hit a record high this year, with more and more people are doing their holiday shopping online,” Sadove said.

The consumer has also benefited from low unemployment and rising wages, even if the global uncertainty and market tensions have affected investment in your business.

The data showed that sales at department stores fell by 1.8% and sales growth of 6.9%, which is the emphasis on the importance of the ” click-and-collect and order online.

In the apparel category registered a stronger-than-expected e-commerce growth, the Mastercard data showed, with online sales rising by 17%.

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; additional reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Dan Grebler

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