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SpendingPulse: Jewelry Sales Growth at Top of Performance

Dec 26, 2013 12:45 PM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT...  U.S. retail sales for the Christmas season, which is generally defined as the period of November 1 to December 24, rose 2.3 percent year on year, according  to early estimates provided by MasterCard SpendingPulse. The growth estimate reflected gift categories such as apparel, electronics, jewelry, luxury goods and home furniture and furnishings. Overall, total retail spending during the period, including all sectors rose 3.5 percent.

SpendingPulse added that jewelry sales were a top performer and one of the few sectors that increased compared with 2012. Apparel experienced only modest growth, while luxury and electronics were flat, according to the group.  Online retail sales reflected double-digit growth.  

"The holiday shopping results are in line with expectations, but several factors impacted retail sales this year," said Sarah Quinlan, the senior vice president of market insights for MasterCard Advisors, which produces the monthly SpendingPulse report. "Having six fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as bad weather in some parts of the country for the final two weekends of the season, clearly had an effect on sales. Yet, holiday sales were a clear improvement over last year's weaker numbers. One clear bright spot is that many consumers who were stuck indoors turned to online shopping to check items off their list and that helped drive ecommerce growth."

A separate analysis by MasterCard Advisors also showed that larger retailers performed slightly better than their smaller counterparts this year, likely due to the increased sales and promotions starting early in the season.
Tags: Jeff Miller, Jewelry, mastercard, retail, sales, SpendingPulse
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