Mastercard: Holiday Retail Up Nearly 4%28 Dec, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel
An extended shopping week and stronger December sales helped holiday retail sales grow 3.6%, according to data released Dec. 28 by MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse.
The macro-economic report found that retail sales increased year-over-year from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24 in six out of 10 categories, including consumer electronics, which increased 5.9% from Black Friday (Nov. 26) to Christmas Eve.
In addition to high-definition televisions, sales of discounted and bundled Blu-ray Disc players helped drive CE revenue.
Indeed, online retail during the holidays posted strong returns, with seasonal sales up 15.5% from Nov. 1 – Dec. 24. Since Black Friday, online sales rose 18%.
Amazon, in a statement, said it sold so many Blu-ray players that if you lined them up side-to-side, “they would stretch for more than 27 miles (more than 100,000 units).”
Top holiday DVD/Blu-ray titles included Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Star Trek and Up, according to the online retailer.
"Overall this year, we have seen increasing stability in spending, as opposed to the free-fall of 2008," said Michael McNamara, VP, research and analysis for SpendingPulse. "This is especially significant considering that prices have been holding up this season, without the broad emergency discounting that consumers benefited from during the 2008 holiday season."