SOURCE: MasterCard Advisors

MasterCard Advisors

December 21, 2009 10:00 ET

SpendingPulse 2009 Holiday Midseason Update: Improvement in Year-Over-Year Comparisons Virtually Across the Board

Electronics, eCommerce and Jewelry Sectors Show Growth, While Apparel, Department Stores and Luxury Experience a Pick-up After a Slower Start

PURCHASE, NY--(Marketwire - December 21, 2009) - MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse, a macro-economic report tracking national retail and service sales, today provided summary results for the holiday shopping season through the second week of December (November 1 - December 12, 2009). The results show modest increases in several sectors, and most of those sectors posting year-over-year declines for the season to date are showing week-to-week improvements or smaller declines.

"Most of the sectors are showing improvements in their growth rates since Black Friday," noted Michael McNamara, Vice President, Research and Analysis for SpendingPulse. "In terms of the latest performance figures the Electronics, Men's Apparel, Footwear and Furniture and Furnishings sectors are all showing positive or flat year-over-year growth rates since the Black Friday weekend.

"There is improvement in the year-over-year comparisons virtually across the board as we move through December. This improvement is in spite of a significant winter storm event that impacted virtually all the northern regions of the country in the first half of the month. There is still a good deal of shopping to occur between now and Christmas, but the early improvement in December has lifted the growth rates into positive territory for 5 of the 10 holiday related sectors for the 2009 holiday season to date."

SpendingPulse analyzed the Electronics, Specialty (Apparel), eCommerce and Luxury sectors. Here are the midseason highlights:


eCommerce has been and continues to be one of the stars of the season with a season to date growth rate of +13.0%. Since Black Friday, eCommerce growth is up 14.4%. The sector is showing consistent growth weekly year-over-year growth rates in the mid teens.


Sales within the Specialty Apparel category were down 3.2% for the season to date beginning on November 1st. Since Black Friday, year-over-year growth is -1.2% with generally flat growth in the first two weeks of December.

Women's Apparel sales were down 3.0% for the season to date beginning on November 1st. Since Black Friday, women's apparel sales had a slightly better showing with declines of 2.6%.

Men's Apparel sales have picked up in December to bring the season to date growth up to 1.1%. After a relatively weak November, the Men's sector has had two consecutive weeks of improved year-over-year increases in December to bring the performance since Black Friday up to +5.1%.

Footwear sales have also experienced improvement with a season to date performance of +1.3%. Again the growth rates have improved in December to bring the performance since Black Friday up to +4.9%.


Electronics sales began to slow down in the first two weeks of December, after four successive weeks of growth in November, and sales for the second week in December were actually 0.8% below 2008 figures, the first year-to-year decline since the season began. Nevertheless, sales for the holiday period thus far show a 4.4% increase over last year.

Jewelry and Luxury

The Jewelry sector season to date is up 0.7%. The Luxury retail ex jewelry category is continuing to show declines, however McNamara observed that here, too, the numbers are getting better. "For the season to date the sector is down -4.2%, since Black Friday the sector is down only 2.0%. The December performance looks like the sector is flattening out with even a slightly positive growth rate last week."

About MasterCard Advisors

MasterCard Advisors provides payments consulting, information, analytics, and customized services to financial institutions and their merchant partners worldwide. Addressing complex challenges in strategy, marketing, risk, and operations, MasterCard Advisors helps clients maximize the value of their payments businesses. As the professional services arm of MasterCard Worldwide, MasterCard Advisors is uniquely qualified to provide clients with insights and solutions that drive tangible impact and financial gain. For more information, go to

About MasterCard Worldwide

MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes approximately 21 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial-institution customers and merchants. Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network and through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to

SpendingPulse™ Data Source: A macro-economic indicator, SpendingPulse reports on national retail and service sales and is based on aggregate sales activity in the MasterCard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other payment forms, such as cash and check. MasterCard SpendingPulse does not represent MasterCard financial performance. SpendingPulse is provided by MasterCard Advisors, the professional services arm of MasterCard Worldwide.

Contact Information

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    Meir Kahtan
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    Jennifer Stalzer
    MasterCard Worldwide
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