by Andrew Asch, Retail Editor December 30, 2010
Call it a Christmas comeback.
Torrential rains in Southern California and lingering economic anxiety throughout the state did not hold consumers back from spending more on clothes and fashion during Christmas 2010.
“If last year’s holiday story was about gaining some stability, this year’s is about getting back to growth,” said Michael McNamara, vice president of research and analysis for MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse report, which found that American retail sales grew 5.5 percent during this holiday season compared with the same time in 2009.
This year’s rebound was a marked difference from the sluggish but steady holiday retail season of 2009, according to the Dec. 27 SpendingPulse report, which measures payments made on the MasterCard network between Nov. 5 and Dec. 24, as well as cash and check payments made to retailers.
In particular, fashion made a big comeback. Total apparel grew 11.2 percent in sales compared with the 2009 holiday season, which saw a decline of 0.4 percent, according to the SpendingPulse report. Menswear grew 10.5 percent. Women’s apparel grew by 5.6 percent. Total e-commerce sales increased 15.4 percent, McNamara said.