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U.S. holiday retail sales rise 8.5% as online shopping soars, Mastercard says

A customer pushes her cart during a Black Friday sale Nov. 26 in Indianapolis. Holiday sales have grown at the fastest rate in 17 years, according to a measure of spending. (Darron Cummings, Associated Press)

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NEW YORK – U.S. retail sales rose 8.5% during this year’s holiday shopping season from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24, fueled by surging online sales, said Sunday a Mastercard report.

According to the Mastercard SpendingPulse report, e-commerce sales in the United States jumped 11% during this year’s holiday shopping season, once again underscoring the role of the COVID-19 pandemic in transforming customer buying habits.

Shoppers also rushed to stores amid supply chain issues as COVID-19 cases surged, pushing sales at physical stores up 8.1% from 2020, the report added. .

“Shoppers were eager to secure their gifts before the retail rush, with conversations surrounding supply chain and labor issues sending consumers online and into stores in droves,” said Mastercard Senior Advisor Steve Sadove in a statement.

E-commerce sales during the holidays accounted for 20.9% of total retail sales this year, the data showed, noting that the sector continues to see growth as consumers appreciate the ease of browsing and shopping in the comfort of their home.

Segments such as jewelry and electronics continued to show growth, with jewelry sales jumping 32% and electronics sales up 16.2% from 2020 levels, according to the report.

The SpendingPulse report tracks spending by combining sales activity in Mastercard’s payment network with estimates of cash and other forms of payment, but excludes auto sales.

A bigger picture will be revealed next month when the National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest retail group, releases its combined two-month results in mid-January, reports the Associated Press. The results will be based on an analysis of November and December sales figures from the Commerce Department.

contributor: The Associated Press

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