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Study: Holiday categories showing gains


PURCHASE, N.Y. According to MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse, retail sales for Oct. 31 through Nov. 13 continued to build on October's momentum, with most of the key holiday categories showing mild to sharp gains, particularly in apparel, luxury and jewelry.

“Since August there have been slow and steady gains in a number of categories.  Although some sectors such as furniture and furnishings remain flat or slightly down, we are now beginning to see sharper increases in key holiday categories, indicating a solid start to the holiday season,” observed Michael McNamara, VP research and analysis for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse.  “For now at least, we are seeing some decent growth numbers and while levels are not yet back to 2007, the year-over-year growth stats are helping to get the holiday season off to an encouraging start.”


For the pre-season period through Nov. 13, total apparel sales were up 9.7% against the same period last year.  This number is an acceleration over October’s year-over-year increase of 8.2% for the category, and further builds on the seven out of 10 months’ year-over-year gains for the sector in 2010. 

E-commerce returned to double digit gains, continuing to build on the 7%-plus gains of August, September and October, hitting an 11.4% year-over year increase.

The electronics and appliances category for the period through Nov. 13 reversed its 3.1% loss from October, going back into positive territory and posting a 0.7% gain. Separated out, consumer electronics was up 0.4%.

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