On 24 November, US retail sales experienced a robust increase of 2.5% year-over-year (YoY), excluding automotive and not accounting for inflation.

This growth, as reported by Mastercard SpendingPulse, a measure of in-store and online retail sales across various payment forms, adds to the impressive double-digit surge seen in 2022.

“Consumers are navigating the holiday season well and taking advantage of holiday promotions, giving them ample choice as they hunt for gifts for everyone on their list,” commented Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and chair of Saks.

He highlighted that consumers are shopping smarter, utilising tools across channels and apps to maximise value while spending quality time with friends and family.

E-commerce sales soar 8.5% YoY, fuelled by sporting events and online deals

One key trend from Friday’s (24 November) shopping spree revealed a significant 8.5% YoY increase in e-commerce sales. Consumers opted for online deals, steering clear of crowded stores.

The appeal of online shopping was further heightened by various sporting events aired on Friday, providing game-day viewers with the option to shop while enjoying their favourite matches.

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In-store sales also saw a boost, rising by 1.1% year-over-year.

Festive feasting and early bargain hunting mark the day

In addition to shopping, consumers embraced the holiday spirit by gathering with friends and family for shared meals. The restaurant sector continued its growth streak, reflecting the tradition of celebrating the holidays with communal dining experiences.

Retailers opted to kickstart their Black Friday sales early in the month, allowing consumers ample time to search for promotions and secure the best deals. This move contributed to the overall success of the day.

Top gift sectors revealed: jewellery and apparel take centre stage

While experiential gifts have been popular in recent years, consumers still sought tangible items to unwrap during the holidays. Jewellery and apparel emerged as the top gift sectors of the day, capturing the attention of eager shoppers.

However, department store sales, as well as furniture and furnishings, lagged behind other sectors compared to the previous year’s performance in 2022.