The festive holiday season got off to a roaring start on Black Friday as the strength of the jewelry and apparel segments helped propel retail sales by 2.5% year-over-year. The Black Friday sales results built upon the double-digit growth experienced in 2022, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment.
While experiential gifts have been the popular choice the past few years, Mastercard noted, consumers continue to search for something to unwrap for the holidays, with jewelry and apparel being the top gift sectors of the day.
“Consumers are navigating the holiday season well and taking advantage of holiday promotions, giving them ample choice as they hunt for gifts for everyone on their list,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and Chairman of Saks Incorporated. “Consumers are also shopping smarter, using all of their tools – from searching across channels to cross checking on apps and websites – to maximize value while they spend time with friends and family.”
Retailers once again started their Black Friday sales early in the month, giving consumers ample time to search for promotions and score the best deals.
According to Mastercard, e-commerce sales on Black Friday increased 8.5% YOY as consumers shopped deals online. Adobe data reported that US consumers spent $9.8 billion on Friday alone, a new sales record. The firm expected another $10 billion to be spent over the Thanksgiving weekend and a record $12 billion on Cyber Monday.
Interestingly, in-store shopper traffic outperformed expectations. Black Friday in-store visits were up 4.6% compared to 2022, according to Sensormatic Solutions, which tracks shopper traffic at brick-and-mortar stores. Mastercard noted that Black Friday in-store sales increased 1.1% YOY.
“Consumers are again finding joy in brick-and-mortar shopping, seeing it as an experience to be shared with loved ones,” noted Grant Gustafson, head of retail consulting and analytics at Sensormatic. “It’s a testament to the hard work retailers have done to streamline journeys and deliver satisfying experiences.”
Nearly 182 million people were set to shop online and in stores between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation.
Credit: Image by Bigstockphoto.com.