Holiday sales rose by 10.7% compared to the pre-pandemic 2019 holiday period, the fastest increase in 17 years, according to the Associated Press.
U.S. retail sales had initially struggled against the backdrop of rising prices, supply chain issues and labor shortages, as businesses emerged from the economic damage incurred at the height of the pandemic. Clothing and jewelry sales rose by more than 30%, according to AP. Online sales were also up 61% from 2019.
After omicron took its toll, some consumers stayed home and shifted their spending to e-commerce, but sales stayed strong. “I feel really good about how the season played out,” said Steve Sadove, senior adviser to Mastercard and former CEO of Saks Inc. “When people feel a little bit uncomfortable, you’ll see a little bit of a pickup in online and a little bit of a slowdown in store performance.’’
The National Retail Foundation predicted in October that holiday sales during November and December would grow between 8.5% and 10.5% over 2020, compared with an 8.2% growth during those same months in 2020.
The retail trade group is slated to release a broader picture of sales performances next month, according to the wire service.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CNBC
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