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Women’s Apparel Lead Holiday Retail Sales

U.S. retail sales rose 5.5% from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve, according to MasterCard in its MasterCard Advisors Spending Pulse Report. And in a surprising twist, jewelry and women’s apparel performed strong than all other categories.

The report indicated that demand for women’s apparel, jewelry and casual dining—a sign that people rather enjoy experiences over goods—helped offset slow electronic sales.

MasterCard Advisors senior vice president Sarah Quinlan described the holiday season as a “social one.” She added, “While certain retail categories saw steady performance from prior months, the focus on creating experiences stayed at the top of many lists. From dining out to planning trips to memorable pieces of jewelry, we saw increases in those categories that will drive future stories beyond just a package exchanged with a friend or family member.”

The MasterCard report tracks retail spending by combining aggregate sales transactions in MasterCard’s payment network, which comprises its own credit and debit cards, as well as estimates from other forms of cash and payment means.