Retail sales in the United States increased 7.6% year-over-year this holiday season (November 1 through December 24, excluding automotive), according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment and is not adjusted for inflation.
Key trends this holiday season, included:
- E-commerce shoppers “add to cart”: Online sales grew 10.6% compared to the same period last year, preliminary insights show. This holiday season, e-commerce made up 21.6% of total retail sales – up from 20.9% in 2021 and 20.6% in 2020. The channel continues to experience elevated growth as consumers prioritize convenience and availability of discounts.
- Weekend shopping reigns supreme: Black Friday sustained its title as the top spending day of the 2022 holiday season, up +12% year-over-year (excluding automotive). This was followed closely by Saturdays in December.
- Ringing in the holidays in restaurants: Building on the ongoing demand for experiences, in-person dining continued to show strong momentum, with restaurants up 15.1% YOY.
“This holiday retail season looked different than years past,” says Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and chairman of Saks Incorporated. “Retailers discounted heavily but consumers diversified their holiday spending to accommodate rising prices and an appetite for experiences and festive gatherings post-pandemic.”
Michelle Meyer, North America chief economist, Mastercard Economics Institute, says: “Inflation altered the way U.S. consumers approached their holiday shopping – from hunting for the best deals to making trade-offs that stretched gift-giving budgets. Consumers and retailers navigated the season well, displaying resilience amid increasing economic pressures.”