On the heels of the brisk last-minute shopping frenzy right before Christmas, shoppers were once again out in full force during the post-holiday sales rush, clearing retailer inventories by stocking up on items such as appliances, apparel and electronics.
In all, sales during the shortened holiday season appeared to have been decent, according to retail experts contacted last week, with big promotions during post-Christmas shopping helping retailers make way for spring merchandise. Like much of the pre-Christmas season, retailers had to pound the sales button after the holiday to get those clear shelves. Everyone was banging the sale drum hard from very early on. Consumers were shifting slightly during the holidays to buy bigger-ticket items such as appliances, furniture and cars. Small appliances sales were also a boon for some retailers during the holiday shopping spree and Crockpots and coffeemakers, woks, and healthy cooking items also seemed to do exceptionally well. Other strong categories included electronics, hand tools, video games, bedding, “affordable fashion” and toys. The top retailer winners include Macy’s, Best Buy, Target, Amazon.com and Walmart. During the week between Christmas and New Year’s, gift cards drove spending. The average share of total holiday spending in the form of gift cards rose to a record of 23.7%. Indeed, mobile and online shopping dominated holiday sales. Of all online sales, mobile reached 16.6% of the total, an increase of 46% from prior-year levels. Tablets, meanwhile, made up 11.5% of all online sales, more than twice that of smartphones. By category, department store online sales increased 62.8 with a 54.5 % increase in apparel sales via mobile.