Mid-season retail report card: apparel, online doing well; electronics struggling

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The holidays are bringing some joy to retailers, with several sectors reporting moderate to strong gains from Oct. 31 to Dec. 11, according to SpendingPulse, an information service of MasterCard Advisors.

Once again, online sales are outpacing most other retail categories, with a growth rate of 13.5%. The sector has been showing double-digit weekly year-over-year growth since the second week in November.

The apparel sector was up 9.8%. Women’s apparel sales increased 4.4% and men’s apparel sales grew 8.4%.

Electronics appear to be the laggard, with sales falling below 2009 levels during the three weeks leading up to Black Friday. Sales during the rest of the period made up for the decline, with sales through Dec. 11 up 0.4% over last year.


SpendingPulse estimates sales for all forms of payment, including cash, checks and credit cards.

-- Andrea Chang