Mastercard Sees Holiday Spending Reaching Record on 7.4% Growth
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. retail sales are poised to reach a record high this holiday season, according to a forecast from Mastercard SpendingPulse, which projects a sizable jump both from last year and from 2019 -- before the pandemic upended consumer behavior.
Sales in the period from Nov. 1 through Christmas Eve are seen rising 7.4% from 2020 and 11.1% from the previous year, according to the study, which didn’t provide a dollar-amount projection. Shoppers are expected to continue relying on e-commerce, with online revenue seen growing 7.6% from 2020 and an astronomical 57% from the previous year.
Pent-up savings and government stimulus will underpin the spending, the company said. Luxury, jewelry and apparel could see the biggest recoveries from last year. But any rebound is threatened by supply-chain challenges, such as higher shipping and commodity costs, and by potential shifts in behavior as the delta variant spreads.
Many retail executives have said they put in holiday orders for merchandise earlier than usual and are looking at air freight to ensure products arrive on time. The industry is encouraging shoppers not to wait until later in the season to start purchasing gifts.
“This holiday season will be defined by early shopping, bigger price tags and digital experiences,” Steve Sadove, senior adviser for Mastercard and former chief executive officer of Saks Inc., said in a statement.
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