National Retail Federation
Holiday retail sales in retail were up higher than expected, according to the National Retail Federation, exceeding expectations by increasing 8.3% to $789.4 billion, as shoppers seeking normalcy used what was left of stimulus funds and unused travel and leisure to purchase holiday gifts. Online and non-store sales were up a brisk 23%.
The uncertainty around schools reopening has made this back-to-school season unlike any before it for retailers, with school supplies lists often unknown as districts work out details, and the normal cadence of discount events and promotions disrupted as well, experts say. Apparel has been hit hardest while tech items are winners.
The National Retail Federation and the International Council of Shopping Centers are asking the Trump administration and the federal government for relief for members who are being hard hit by the coronavirus crisis, much as are other industries such as airlines and hospitality, as mall, store and restaurant closures grow.
Ecommerce holiday sales rose 18.8% over 2018, driving 3.4% overall growth in seasonal retail, delivering a very merry season for merchants, according to the Mastercard SpendingPulse holiday report. Ecommerce growth was up slightly from an 18.4% gain in 2018, accounting for 14.6% of total retail, according to Mastercard.