December capped a year of growth for UK retail, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, as spending over the festive period increased 2.2 percent, compared to last December, helped by spending on clothing and food online.
Mastercard SpendingPulse, which accounts for all spending in the UK, including cash and card payments, revealed that while overall spending fell by 1.3 percent, however, online shopping grew by 11.5 percent year-on-year in December.
Clothing was one of the big winners, with e-commerce clothing sales increasing by 13.7 percent year-on-year, however, luxury goods and jewellery were down by 3.4 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively on 2016.
The results also revealed weaker footfall in the Boxing Day sales, with Mastercard stating that shoppers were satiated by discounting around Black Friday, which impacted the year-on-year comparisons, as some holiday sales shifted into November results.
Scott Abrahams, senior vice president of business development at Mastercard UK and Ireland, said: “When looking at the year as a whole, 2017 saw retail sales increase 4 percent. Although Christmas trading was tough and showed a mixed performance among retailers, these results do show that there some areas of optimism for British retailers, particularly those with a strong online presence.”
Mastercard also released its SpendingPulse results for the US holiday shopping season, which was more positive with 4.9 percent growth. The 2017 festive season set a new record for dollars spent, the largest year-over-year increase since 2011, which Mastercard states is “further indication” of increasing consumer confidence.