SpendingPulse 2010 Holiday Mid-Season Update: Positive Momentum Holds Steady in Retail Sales

Season-to-Date Highest Growth in eCommerce, Apparel;
Most Other Categories Also in Positive Territory


MasterCard Advisors:
















Data Source:


A macroeconomic indicator, SpendingPulse reports on national retail and services sales and is based on aggregate sales activity in the MasterCard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for all other payment forms, including cash and check. MasterCard SpendingPulse does not represent MasterCard financial performance. SpendingPulse is provided by MasterCard Advisors, the professional services arm of MasterCard Worldwide.


MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse, a macroeconomic report tracking national retail and services sales, today provided summary results for the holiday shopping season through the second week of December (October 31 – December 11, 2010). Retail sales generally continued November’s momentum, with several of the sectors recording moderate to strong gains.

“The modest growth we first saw with the August Back-to-School season has accelerated. These results suggest that retail spending continues to gain traction,” noted Michael McNamara, Vice President, for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse. “Most sectors are showing steady improvements, with Electronics, Department Stores and Furnishings categories recording flat to small declines. The solid November growth rates have continued across most areas through the first half of December.”

To watch a short video with additional commentary from Michael McNamara, please view below or visit: http://www.mastercardadvisors.com/us/advisors/en/information_analytics/spendingpulse_podcast.html


SpendingPulse analyzed the Electronics, Apparel, eCommerce and Luxury sectors. Here are the midseason highlights:


eCommerce continues to be one of the stars of the season with a season-to-date growth rate of 13.5%. The sector has been showing double-digit weekly year-over-year growth rates since the second week in November.


The Total Apparel category was up 9.8% for the season-to-date. Women’s Apparel sales were up 4.4% for the season with the category recording a slightly better showing since Black Friday. Men’s Apparel sales grew 8.4% year-over-year. Growth within the Teen and Family Apparel segments is also strong.


Electronics sales fell below 2009 levels during the three weeks leading up to Black Friday. Sales during the rest of the period barely made up the decline, with sales season-to-date recording a 0.4% increase over last year.

Jewelry and Luxury

The Jewelry sector season-to-date is up 2.6%, with the Luxury ex jewelry category doing slightly better, up 2.8% over the same period last year. Jewelry sales have grown steadily in the latter part of the season.

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