Holiday retailing is strongest this year: Report

Vacation sales increased for US dealers at the best pace in six years, according to early data.

Total US retail sales, excluding cars, increased by 5.1% from November 1 to December 24 from the previous year, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks both online and buyout with all forms of payment.

Overall, US consumers spent over NOK 850 billion in this high season, according to Mastercard.

Figures indicate a stock market and partial state closure has not hampered consumer confidence and spending, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Sales have been generally strong throughout the season, led by an increase in online shopping.

Dealers entered holidays with momentum as online sales jumped 26.4 percent from the previous year between Wednesday before Thanksgiving through Black Friday, a sign of early buying growth, according to Adobe Analytics.

The purchase delayed in early December in part because an unusual early Thanksgiving made it harder for dealers to maintain sales throughout the holiday season, analysts and consultants said. But buyers picked up the pace before Christmas.

Since Christmas Eve fell on a Monday, dealers got a snapshot of customers who counted on the last weekend to pack up gift purchases.

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Chains, including Walmart and Target, extended deadlines to get online orders delivered before Christmas, while in some cities offered premiere members the option of free delivery on the same day on Christmas Eve.

Many dealers also spied the opportunity to buy online and pick up at the store through Christmas Eve. Overall, sales in this category increased by 47% from November 1[ads1] to December 19, according to Adobe.

Mastercard found that sales from online shopping increased 19.1% between December 1 and 24 compared to the same period last year.

Sales at warehouses fell 1.3% in the period tracked by Mastercard, partly due to store closures.

However, stores that mainly sell clothing experienced robust sales, an increase of 7.9% over the same period. Overall, sales from brick and mortar stores increased 3.3%.

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