Overall U.S holiday sales in 2017 grew 6.2% over 2016, a pace that bested 2016’s 4.7% sales-growth rate, First Data Corp. announced Wednesday in its latest SpendTrend report. Retail spending during the Oct. 28 to Jan. 1 period increased 5.4%, compared to a 3.6% growth rate in 2016.
Measured at 1.3 million merchant locations—1.1 million physical stores and 200,000 e-retailers—from Oct. 28 through Jan. 1, the report found that the 2017 growth rate was the highest in four years. Notable, too, is that e-commerce spending accounted for 29% of all transactions, an increase from 26% in 2016. First Data says this marked the highest share of spending for e-commerce transactions to date.
More consumers may also be making more everyday purchases using e-retailers than in the past, First Data says. The average e-commerce ticket of $103.49 was less than the $105.73 average in 2016. This decrease, in combination with an almost 13% growth in e-commerce transaction volume, could signal greater consumer ease with shopping online for everyday items, the Atlanta-based processor says.
Among retail categories, regardless of the shopping channel, electronics and appliances and building materials had banner sales growth rates, of 8.3% and 6.9%, respectively. Of other categories, only the sporting goods, hobby, and books segment experienced a decrease, of 0.6%. Specialty retailer sales increased 6.1%; furniture, 2.8%; clothing, 2.8%; and general merchandise, 2.4%.
The First Data report also analyzed regional retail sales growth. The Southwest, at a 5.7% increase, led the other regions. New England, at 5.5% was second, followed by the Midwest, 5.0%, the West, 4.2%, the South, 4.0%, and the Mid-Atlantic, 0.7%.