Online shopping

US holiday retail sales rise 8.5% as online shopping explodes: Mastercard

People ride an escalator while others stand in a mall during holiday season shopping as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., December 18, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Sales in the United States rose 8.5% during this year’s holiday retail shopping season, from November 1 to December 24, thanks to soaring e-commerce sales, according to a report from Mastercard published on Sunday.

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 the transformation 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 ahead of the retail rush, with conversations about supply chain and labor issues sending consumers online and in stores en masse,” Mastercard senior adviser Steve Sadove said 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.