2013 Holiday Sales Tick Up in U.S. and Canada (Jan. 13, 2014)
The 2013 holiday shopping season generated brisk sales figures in the U.S. and Canada, according to newly released reports from both sides of the border.
As per to First Data’s latest SpendTrend analysis—which tracked same-store sales at nearly 4 million U.S. merchant locations from Dec. 3 through Dec. 30, 2013—overall sales dollar volume was 6.1 percent higher than the same period in 2012. The growth was driven largely by a shortened holiday season because of a late Thanksgiving, extended store hours, sales and promotions, First Data said. Adverse weather in the Midwest and Northeast, meanwhile, limited shopper foot traffic and hindered growth from being even higher, according to the analysis. And shoppers loosened the purse strings a bit, generating a 1.2 percent uptick in average retail ticket amount compared to the 2012 holiday season. To support those larger purchases, customers turned to credit cards, spending on which hit a four-month high in December, and was up 7.8 percent over 2012, according to the report.
North of the border, Canada also saw increased spending over 2012, but growth was limited in part by a severe ice storm that left parts of Ontario without power between Dec. 21 and Dec. 24, according to figures from Moneris Solutions, Canada’s largest payment card processor. The latest Moneris Spending Report found that consumer spending during the fourth quarter of 2013 increased just 1.95 percent over the same quarter of 2012—marking the second straight year that Q4 showed the smallest year-over-year growth of any quarter. While overall quarterly growth was modest, November saw the largest monthly spending growth of the quarter, at 3.44 percent—reflecting the growing popularity of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping, according to Moneris.