Retail Sales Showed Strong Growth in December, Mastercard SpendingPulse Shows

retail sales strong growth

Retail sales witnessed robust growth in December 2021, ending what was a strong shopping season.

The positive sales figures for retailers were unveiled by Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment.

According to the report, the holiday season saw retail figures grow by 8.5%, excluding auto figures.

Mastercard SpendingPulse – Retail Sales Grew in December

The report lists a snapshot of sales growth by sector. It found that restaurants saw the highest sales growth, jumping by 51.9% compared to figures from the same period in 2020.

Luxury was the second-best sector in terms of sales over the holiday period, representing a 46.8% jump from 2020.

The festive period proved successful for sellers of luxury items, excluding jewelry, which saw a 46.8% increase in sales from the year before.

Apparel also fared well, with figures being 46.3% more than the previous holiday season.

Electronics and appliances also witnessed robust growth, being 19.1% up compared to the 2020 holiday season.

Optimistic Sales Outlook for Retailers

The data is important for small businesses as it confirms that, despite the challenges of the year and issues related to the supply chain, many sectors enjoyed robust sales over the festive period. This should set the tone for a positive and optimistic start for retailers of 2022.

Additionally, for entrepreneurs thinking of starting their own business or small business owners dappling with ideas, the report shows which sectors are typically faring better.

‘Commerce e-volution’

The research also highlights the growing demand for online sales.

Referring to a “commerce e-volution”, the authors of the Mastercard report note:

“Retailers and brands spent much of the pandemic shifting or expanding their digital channels, which we see reflected in the SpendingPulse figures as online sales continued to experience strong growth in December (+13.5% YOY/ +60.4% YO2Y).

“In 2022, innovation will be amplified with retailers looking at different platforms and tactics to reach hyper-connected consumers.”

The report also notes how innovation has been vital to retailers’ success and growth, as businesses continue to think beyond physical stores. It also underscores the heightened focus on consumer privacy and how retailers will need to find new ways to understand and engage their digital consumers effectively.

Image: Depositphotos

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. She is based in the United Kingdom and since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".