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Holiday shopping skyrocketed in 2021, sales increased by over 8.5%: What fueled the success?

Despite supply chain issues and the Omicron variant of COVID-19 holiday shopping sales increased 8.5% this year.

Mastercard SpendingPulse tracks payments of all kinds – including cash and debit cards. They reported that sales had risen 8.5% from 2020. In total, they expected an 8.8% increase.

The results cover the holiday shopping season, which officially begins on November 1 and continues through December 24 or Christmas Eve.

Mastercard says the spike as fueled by clothing and jewelry sales.


Were holiday shopping sales an anomaly based on 2020 pandemic lows?

No. Holiday sales increased by 10.7% compared to the pre-pandemic 2019 holiday period, according to Mastercard.

A clearer picture will come next month when the National Retail Federation releases its two-month results. Those will not come out until mid-January, though.

“I feel really good about how the season played out,” said Steve Sadove, senior adviser to Mastercard and former CEO of Saks Inc. “When people feel a little bit uncomfortable, you’ll see a little bit of a pickup in online and a little bit of a slowdown in store performance.”

What about non-store sales? Those are on the rise, too.

The expectation is that non-store sales will have increased between 11% and 15%.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

What fueled the successful holiday shopping season?

Many are still suffering an economic crunch brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. However, a growing percentage of the population is benefiting from an economy that’s in recovery- and jobs that are paying better than they did before the pandemic.

That translated to one thing this holiday season: A greater holiday shopping spend.

Wages are up, more money is in the consumer’s hand, and because of those factors – the holiday shopping season saw more activity than ever before.



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