Even with the stock markets dropping and a partial government shutdown underway, holiday retail sales were at their highest point in six years, with consumers spending more than $850 billion this year, according to early data reported for November and December.
Sales, except for automobiles, went up by 5.1 percent between Nov. 1 and Christmas Eve from the same period last year, according to statistics from Mastercard SpendingPulse, a service tracking online and in-store spending completed with all forms of payment, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Meanwhile, there was also an early buying surge, with online sales going up by 26.4 percent from a year before between the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through Black Friday, an Adobe Analytics report showed.
However, overall buying slowed in early December because Thanksgiving fell early this year, but picked again before Christmas, according to analysts and consultants. Retailers also benefited with Christmas Eve falling on a Monday, giving shoppers a final weekend for a last minute push.
Many business chains, including Walmart and Target, extended their online deadlines to get orders delivered on time, and Amazon offered Prime members in larger cities the option to get same-day delivery on Christmas Eve.
Sales also went up online by 47 percent from Nov. 1 to Dec. 19 for people who bought online and picked up items in stores, according to Adobe, and Mastercard reported online shopping sales grew by 19 percent compared to last year.
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