Earlier store openings and a search for bargains drove retail sales volume up 5.6% on this year's post-Thanksgiving sales compared to last year, even though retailers did not cut prices as deeply as they have in previous years
Those are two of the conclusions published by First Data in its SpendTrend, an analysis of consumer spending that the payment processor publishes monthly.
The analysis called the growth “impressive” considering sales growth in the second half of the year has hovered near a relatively slow 3%. Leading growth categories included building material, garden equipment and supply dealers, and clothing and clothing accessories stores, the processor said.
The increased sales volume, particularly on credit and debit cards, should hike credit union card interchange for the season.
Because retailers had not cut prices as deeply this year, average ticket values, the amount of money spent per transaction, swung from a loss last year when the average amount of money consumers per transaction on Black Friday declined almost 1% from the year before to a gain as consumers spent, on average, about 2% more per ticket this year than last.
“Holiday spending got off to a strong start as consumers were attracted by retailers' efforts to make shopping easier, including opening stores on Thanksgiving and expanding shipping and layaway options,” said Rikard Bandebo, vice president and economist at First Data.
“Even though spending was not quite as strong on the East Coast, spending in hurricane-struck areas was still healthy and consumer confidence has been strong,” Bandebo said. “While the start of the holiday spending season appeared good, merchants will monitor shoppers to see if they can sustain the spending growth through the holiday season.”