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Mastercard: April sales remain steady amid strong brick-and-mortar growth

Total retail sales rose in April.

In-store sales continued their rebound in April even as consumers purchased less online.

Total retail sales (excluding auto) in April rose 7.2% year-over-year and 15.3% compared to pre-pandemic spending (2019), not adjusted for inflation, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment. This is similar to the year-over-year monthly growth experienced thus far in 2022.

In-store sales increased 10.0%, while e-commerce sales fell 1.8% compared to last year, reflecting consumer demand to get out, according to the Mastercard report.  However, online sales remain elevated (up 92.0%) versus pre-pandemic April 2019.   California, New York, Florida, Nevada and Illinois were among the states leading the charge back to brick-and-mortar.

Key trends for April reinforce consumer resilience in the face of inflation and highlight seasonal spending across sectors and channels, noted Mastercard.

Here are more highlights from the latest Mastercard SpendingPulse report.

  • Apparel/Department Stores:  Consumers refreshing their wardrobes for potential summer travel and the warmer months ahead contributed to continued growth for apparel (up 10.8% year-over-year and  8.4% April 2019) and department stores (up 15.7% year-over-year and 22.3% pre-pandemic), though rates have started to soften from the peaks earlier this year
  • Home Furnishings: Furniture and home furnishing sales, which saw the seventh consecutive month of positive growth, increased 3.8% year-over-year and 25.7% compared to April 2019. While the super-hot housing market is starting to show signs of cooling, consumers continue investing in their homes and feathering their nests for seasons to come.
  • Grocery: to Grocery sales rose 12.4% year-over-year and 22.1% compared to April 2019.  
  • Electronics/Appliances: Sales of electronics and appliances were up 4.6% year-over-year and 36.2% compared to April 2019.
  • Jewelry: Jewelry sales increased 33.3% year-over-year and 51.8% over April 2019. 

“Whether for a family barbecue, returning to the office or senior prom, it seems like everyone is out shopping for something,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and chairman of Saks Incorporated. “Mastercard SpendingPulse shows spending across sectors in April.”




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