Retail sales during the holiday season clocked its fastest increase in six years.
From November 1 through December 24, retail sales surged +5.1% from a year ago, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse. Shoppers spent more than $850 billion in the holidays.
Online sales increased more than +19% compared to last year, according to Mastercard. On Wednesday, Amazon claimed to have raked in record sales during the holidays.
However, spending at department stores fell 1.3% from last year, according to Mastercard. This might be yet another signal of e-commerce and online shopping increasingly gaining in popularity and market share – thereby potentially putting pressure on the margins of some traditional/brick-and-mortar stores.