Holiday retail sales grew 5.1% to more than $850 billion, the strongest in six years, fueled especially by apparel and home improvement sales, according to the most recent Mastercard SpendingPulse report, which was emailed to Retail Dive. Apparel sales grew 7.9% from 2017, the best growth since 2010, and home improvement spending rose 9%, continuing a strength sparked months earlier. Furniture and home goods sales alone rose 2.3%.
Though a smaller piece of the pie, online shopping grew even more year over year — by 19.1%, according to the report, which tracks spending across payment types.. . . more