Holiday shopping is off to a good start: A report shows a strong pre-holiday season (the three weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and Black Friday), followed by solid Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales.
First Data looked at the point-of-sale activity of 1.3 million merchants, including 1.1 million brick-and-mortar stores and 200,000 eCommerce retailers.
Thanksgiving and Black Friday saw total spend growth of 11.9 percent year over year, compared to 7.8 percent in 2016. Retail spending was relatively steady at 9.3 percent, and eCommerce made up 29 percent of total volume, up from 25 percent last year.
But while average ticket sizes increased around three percent for brick and mortar, those numbers declined around five percent for eCommerce – possible proof that consumers are purchasing more everyday items online.
Within retail, electronics and appliances saw the strongest growth across Thanksgiving and Black Friday at 19 percent, while building materials and DIY saw 8.9 percent growth, furniture got a 7.6 percent boost and clothing saw 6.9 percent growth.
The largest increase was seen in building materials/DIY (6 percent), while the largest decrease came in sporting goods/hobby (-2 percent).
The report notes that, overall, the strong spending growth can be attributed to high consumer confidence, low unemployment and relatively favorable weather patterns for this time of year.