First Data recently reported that retail spending increased 6.6% between October 28th and December 18th, compared to the same period of last year. The company also found that e-commerce sales continued to outpace traditional, brick and mortar retail stores, with increases of 11% and 5.4%, respectively.
First Data’s report claimed electronics and appliances as the hottest selling category, which increased 11.8%. Non-electronic entertainment, such as books, music, and other non-electronic hobbies, showed the worst performance, decreasing 0.7%.
The Southwest and West saw the most growth, while the Mid-Atlantic region increased the least.
According to an annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Proper Insights & Analytics, just over half of survey respondents expected to finish their holiday shopping by December 20th, though some would still be shopping on Christmas Eve, and some would miss the Christmas deadline altogether.
As of December 12th, 51% of last-minute shoppers expected to purchase their gifts online, 41% would purchase at department stores, 26% at discount stores, 21% at clothing or accessories stores, 18% at electronics stores, 14% at local/small business stores, and 14% at grocery/supermarket stores.
The survey found that 54% of holiday shoppers bought clothing or clothing accessories; 39% purchased toys; another 39% purchased gift cards; 35% bought books, movies, and other media; 25% bought consumer electronics or computer-related accessories; and 25% purchased food or candy.