Holiday sales rise 8.5 percent


Holiday sales skyrocketed this year despite a series of setbacks that affected the world of retail, according to The Associated Press.

Sales over this year's holiday season grew at the fastest pace in 17 years and increased by 8.5 percent since last year. Additionally, holidays sales were up 10.7 percent from the 2019 holiday season, Mastercard Spending Pulse found. The spending measure, which tracked consumer spending from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24, found that clothing and jewelry saw the largest increases.

Clothing sales spiked 47 percent, followed by jewelry, which saw 32 percent growth from the year prior.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, online sales during the holiday season have increased 61 percent, the 
AP notes.

The record-setting sales are notable as several factors, including product shortages and the COVID-19 omicron variant, threatened retail success.

"I feel really good about how the season played out," Steve Sadove, senior adviser to Mastercard and former CEO of Saks Inc, told the AP.

He added, "When people feel a little bit uncomfortable, you’ll see a little bit of a pickup in online and a little bit of a slowdown in store performance."

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