New York—Consumers waited once again till the last minute to shop for their holiday gifts, giving a gift to many retailers.
According to International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index, weekly sales increased by 1% for the week ending December 28. On a year-over-year basis, the pace of sales continued to improve and rose by 3%.
“Business was brisk in the final days ahead of Christmas and for the week as a whole,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC vice president of research and chief economist. “Now attention turns to holiday gift-card redemptions as according to The ICSC-Goldman Sachs consumer tracking survey found that the consumers’ average share of total holiday spending that was in the form of a gift card rose to a record 23.7% in 2013.
“This is good news as it means that the ‘extended season’—the weeks after Christmas into January—will play an important role in the final tally of the season’s performance,”
ICSC predicts that monthly sales will increase 3% to 4% for December helped by Cyber Monday, Dec. 2 sales as well as the highly promotional environment.
Another report out this week from MasterCard SpendingPulse said that retail sales for the 2013 holiday season were up by 3.5%, one of the first reports on the holiday season released so far.
The Spending Pulse report showed a 2.3% growth in 2013 year over the 2012 season.