WJR Business Beat: 2021 Holiday Retail Sales Wrap-Up (Episode 340)


On today’s episode of the Business Beat, Jeff recaps holiday retail sales.

Tune in to the Business Beat, below, to find out if prognosticators were right in their predictions:

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Good morning, Paul! Leading up to the holidays, we passed along all of the sales prognostications from the experts, and now let’s do one last look back at the 2021 holiday shopping. Now while the final, final numbers aren’t yet in, there’s enough data available to do a retrospective on how it all wrapped up. And here’s the high-level overview: Initial indicators point to a really bright holiday season for most merchants and brands. According to the latest numbers from Adobe, for example, while the holiday season was predicted to bring in about $111 billion, it brought in around $109 billion, still a really strong number that’s up from $90 billion spent in 2020. Now while overall retail sales grew by roughly 9% during the 2021 holiday shopping season, e-commerce sales were the biggest gainer as expected, growing by 11%, representing the highest growth rates seen over the past 17 years, according to a MasterCard SpendingPulse report. Now in-store sales also grew by 8.1%. So as expected e-commerce is the biggest gainer. To put this in better perspective, looking back just one more year to 2019 shows that online sales leaped by 62% over the same period in 2019. That means e-commerce now represents about 21% of total retail sales and interestingly of total e-commerce sales, mobile gains big and now represents almost half of all e-commerce sales versus desktop-driven online purchases. What were we buying, Paul, during the 2021 holiday season? Apparel. It saw the biggest sales growth this season, 47% over 2020. Jewelry was next with a 32% boost, then electronics growing at 16% over 2020. So there it is, Paul. It’s a wrap. Time to put a ball on it. I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of startupnation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

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