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SpendingPulse Reports Luxury Sector Sales +9%

Online Sales Grew 16%

Apr 6, 2011 9:42 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, a macroeconomic report tracking national retail and services sales, reported that electronics sales and department stores showed modest gains in March while luxury goods and e-commerce revenue recorded strong growth.  The group did not report on a change in jewelry sales in March.

The SpendingPulse Luxury Index, which measured sales at high-end restaurants, food stores, department stores and general apparel categories, was up 8.5 percent year on year.

Michael McNamara, vice president of research for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, stated that most retail sectors continued to record solid growth although momentum to spend was little changed from February to March. "The lack of increased momentum in some sectors could be due to calendar shifts, given that Easter falls very late this year,'' he added.

U.S. gasoline prices remain a concern. ''Compared to March 2010, we’re seeing drivers pump less gasoline,” he noted.  ''Based on what we’ve observed in the last three to four years, high gasoline prices typically result in consumers consolidating shopping trips, shopping closer to home, and making fewer trips to the brick and mortar locations as we get to Saturday.  On the other hand, we’ve seen the e-commerce channel benefitting somewhat from this trend. ”  
Total apparel sales increased 4.4 percent year on year while footwear  sales declined 1.6 percent. The furniture sector posted a modest increase of 2.4 percent. Online revenue rose 16.1 percent largely due to an 18.7 percent increase in sales of apparel, an 8.4 percent increase for department store sales, and a 14 percent jump in sales of electronics.


Tags: Jeff Miller, luxury, mastercard, Online, retail, sales, SpendingPulse
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