Computer screens burned bright this season as shoppers avoided the mall and surfed the internet for Christmas bargains. E-commerce was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal holiday.
Shoppers shifted purchases online at the end of December which boosted overall e-commerce results. Still, overall e-commerce sales were in negative territory—down 2.3 percent. Sales above $300 were at a virtual standstill. (See related story: Amazon Claims Record Holiday Orders.)
It took massive discounts, longer store hours and promotional giveaways to even get shoppers to the mall this season. Still that last minute rush could not save stores from double-digit sales declines across virtually every category.
That weak spending through Christmas Eve brought overall holiday sales to levels unseen since the 1980s, according to cash and credit card data tracked by Mastercard Spending Pulse.
Total holiday sales excluding auto purchases were down negative 5.5 to 8 percent. Including gas and autos, purchases were down negative 2 to 4 percent. The results are well below the plus 2.2 percent forecast made by the National Retail Federation in September.Page 1 of 2 | Next Page