Using aggregate sales activity in the Mastercard payments network and survey-based estimates for other payment forms such as cash and check, MasterCard SpendingPulse found that U.S. retail sales excluding automotive and gasoline jumped 3% during this year's holiday shopping season, which ran from October 11 through December 24.
With many people continuing to stay at home as a result of Covid-19, it's not surprising that online sales jumped by 49% compared to last year. E-commerce accounted for 19.7% of overall retail sales during this year's holiday shopping season compared to 13.4% in 2019.
Given people are spending so much time at home, home furniture and furnishings was the biggest winner, showing the largest growth of any sector as sales jumped by more than 16% from last year. Home improvement also saw a boost as sales increased by more than 14% from last year as e-commerce sales jumped by nearly 80%.