Christmas sales have gone up, but not much.

During the new shopping season, many Americans have given up shopping in digital stores. And the pandemic trend to prefer household goods and groceries over clothing has continued, according to early sales data from companies tracking consumer spending.

Retail sales in the United States went from 1 to 2. From November through Christmas, online and in-store spending increased by 2.4% in the same period last year, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks online and in-store spending for all payment methods. According to the company, online sales increased by 47,2 % over this period. The calculation does not include sales of petrol and cars.

This is below the 3.6 to 5.2 percent turnover growth forecast by the sector association, the National Retail Federation, last month. A more complete picture of Christmas spending will be presented in the coming weeks when the government releases retail sales for December and retailers report their operating results.

This will be modest compared to what we have seen in the past, said Rod Sides, head of retail and distribution at the consulting firm Deloitte LLP. Mr Sides said that sales are expected to increase by a few percentage points due to an increase in the number of Covid 19 cases in recent months and new restrictions on public meetings that have weighed on results. Those who are catching up at the retail level, he said, continue to do so.

The pandemic has resulted in a Christmas business with extreme winners and losers, and in many cases, lost profits. For traditional retailers, online sales are generally less profitable than in-store sales due to higher shipping and logistics costs.

What is the impact of the pandemic on the American retail sector? As states across the country strive to revive trade, WSJ is investigating retail trends and how consumers can shop in a post-pandemic world. Originally published on the 17th. November.

Among those who have done well are major distributors such as. Inc,

Walmart Inc.

and Target Corp. with flexible pre-pandemic e-commerce activities, as well as the sale of items such as groceries, household items, holiday decorations and fitness items. During the pandemic, buyers spent more money to improve their homes or cook more food. Smaller retailers, who are more dependent on clothing sales or were already in financial difficulties before the pandemic, tended to be weak during the holiday season.

Retail sales of clothing have declined between 11 years. October and Christmas by 19.1%, although e-commerce sales in this category increased by 15.7%. Turnover in the department store fell by 10.2%. Sales of furniture and home furnishings rose by 16.2% and, according to the company, sales of home furnishings rose by 14.1%.

Many shoppers also avoided the stores in the last weeks of the season, when it became more difficult to order online in time for Christmas. From 1. November to November 22nd. In December, online sales reached 171.6 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of 32.4% over the same period last year, according to Adobe Analytics. Store traffic was lower than last year throughout the season, even in recent weeks, after many retailers stopped promising that online orders would arrive in time for Christmas. In the seven days leading up to Christmas, store traffic fell 31.3% compared to the previous year, according to Sensormatic Solutions, which uses cameras and software to track visits to thousands of shopping centers.

In early October this year, retailers launched marketing campaigns and holiday promotions to reduce in-store congestion and relieve pressure on the e-commerce supply chain. They also stimulated sales to compete with the Amazon premiere of the e-commerce giant, which was moved to October this year. Some sales data indicates that buyers have started spending money earlier to meet demand. According to Mastercard, retail sales increased by 11 %. October and December 24 with 3%.

Some retailers and brands were still experiencing delivery problems due to the presence of online sellers.

Some customers who did not receive an order from earlier this week received an email from the Lego Santa Claus to give to their children. The elves worked as hard as they could, but they ran out of supplies, he read the letter. Since we have to take the parts to the North Pole and then the elves have to finish the series, it may take a little longer.

The not mythical reason for the delay is the congestion of U.S. postal services, said Guy Walney, a father of two boys who received a letter from Santa Claus. Mr. Walney ordered one. December Lego Minecraft and Star Wars theme Star Wars. Lego transferred the order to the post five days later, where it has remained ever since, according to Walney, who keeps track of the parcel updates.

We’re actually Jewish, Walney said. The children didn’t get the letter after all. He and his wife bought more Lego games from stores to give to their children for Hanukkah, said the 39-year-old co-owner of a truck parts company in Chicago.

In order to make parents aware of possible delays, Lego has also sent a similar letter in previous years, according to a Lego spokesperson. The company informs its customers about delays on its website, she said.


How did you adjust your Christmas shopping this year to the pandemic? Take part in the discussion below.

The postal service, like other delivery companies, is under pressure due to the recording of holiday volumes, a spokeswoman said. This situation is exacerbated by the shortage of temporary staff due to the surge of Covid 19, she said. We take all the volumes offered to us, which exacerbates our problems, she said.

The postal service is under pressure for more

United Parcel Service Inc.


FedEx Corp.

that limit the amount of packets they accept on their systems. After weeks of increasing delays at all three carriers, the number of on-time deliveries has improved from 13 to 19, according to ShipMatrix, a software supplier that analyses shipping data. December. Despite this significant improvement at home, more than one million online orders still can not be delivered on time for Christmas, but many of those items are Covid-19 related household purchases and not the Christmas presents, the company said.

Retailers’ profits could be hit hard by the rise of the Internet, say managers and consultants.

We are seeing a huge negative trend in profitability as a result of the growth in e-commerce this season, says Sonia Lapinski, General Manager of Retail Practice at the AlixPartners consulting firm. Those who did well this year invested years ago in e-commerce – Walmarts, Targets – and they had the money to fix it, she says. Now the rest of us are just fucked.

Shopkeepers save costs and reduce, among other things, the working hours of employees in stores, especially in small and medium-sized retail chains. Seasonal retail hiring, which begins every autumn in anticipation of the holiday season, didn’t occur this year, said a spokesman for the Ultimate Kronos Group, which supplies personnel and staff planning technology primarily to small and medium-sized traditional retail and other businesses. This year the number of hours worked in retail trade fell by 0.7% between mid-October and the week before Christmas, depending on the group. The week before Christmas the shopkeepers had 12% less shifts than last year.

Just fewer teams, the spokeswoman said.

Write to Sarah Nassauer at [email protected].

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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