Fashion retail sales rose 4.4 percent during the holiday season

New data shows that sales by US fashion retailers during the crucial holiday season rose year-on-year.

Sales in the apparel sector rose 4.4 percent year-on-year between November 1 and December 24. This is according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures physical retail sales and online retail sales across all payment types and is not adjusted for inflation. On the other hand, jewelry sales decreased by 5.4 percent. Total retail sales, excluding the auto sector, rose 7.6 percent.

“This holiday season has looked different than previous years,” said Steve Sadoff, MasterCard senior advisor and former CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sachs Incorporated. “Retailers have offered deep discounts, but consumers have diversified their holiday spending to accommodate higher prices and the desire for post-pandemic experiences and festive gatherings,” he said.

Unsurprisingly, Black Friday was again the best performer, with spending up 12 percent year-over-year (excluding the auto segment). closely followed by Saturdays in December.

Online sales remain strong

Despite stores reopening after the pandemic ended, online sales grew 10.6 percent and accounted for 21.6 percent of total retail sales, compared to 20.9 percent in 2021 and 20.6 percent in 2020.

“The channel continues to see strong growth as consumers prioritize convenience and the availability of discounts,” said MasterCard.

Meanwhile, in-store sales rose 6.8%.

The annual growth over the holiday season came as US consumers grappled with rising inflation.

“Inflation has changed the way American consumers have been doing holiday shopping — from chasing the best deals to making concessions that have strained gift budgets,” said Michelle Meyer, chief North America economist at Mastercard Economics Institute. “Consumers and retailers have weathered the season well and are showing resilience amid mounting economic pressures,” she said.

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