Consumer Holiday Spending Showed Growth Consistent with Last Year, According to First Data SpendTrend® Report

eCommerce Represents a Fifth of All Sales Volume for Holidays, Up from 18% in 2014

Analysis of More than 1.3 Million Merchant Locations

Reveals Growth of 3.3% for Full Holiday Season

Drop in Average Ticket Sizes Offsets Rise in Total Number of Transactions


NEW YORK, January 8, 2016– While many consumers still found themselves waiting in long lines this holiday season, a new report released today by First Data (NYSE: FDC) found that many tackled their gift lists from home this year. First Data’s Holiday 2015 SpendTrend Report revealed that more than a fifth (20.2%) of all holiday shopping is now occurring online, a segment that has seen steady growth in recent years. Using insights gleaned from transaction data from 1.3 million U.S. merchant locations, First Data also found that retail sales are up 3.3% for the full holiday season. The sales growth was a marginal increase over 2014’s year-over-year growth of 3.2%.

“The marginal increase from 3.2% to 3.3% could be attributed to a fall in average ticket sizes – a decline of 0.2% year-over-year that occurred during most of the holiday season,” said Krish Mantripragada, Senior Vice President, Information & Analytics Solutions, First Data. “On average shoppers were spending $74.68 on each purchase. The frequency of transactions, however, may have offset the lower ticket prices which resulted in overall healthy growth for the full season.”

Online, shoppers were inclined to spend more than at the register with purchases averaging $125.72 per transaction compared to $69.64 at brick and mortar locations.

In terms of when shoppers were spending, Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday weekend dominated the holiday season showing the highest year-over-year growth of 6.3% for the entire holiday period. The last two weeks of December, however, also showed higher concentration of sales.

Categories that fared well this season included building materials & garden equipment, which saw a healthy 11.9% growth rate and general merchandise retailers experience a 5% overall increase in sales. Electronics & appliances, however, declined 2.2%, as did clothing & accessories stories which dropped 0.9%.

Regionally, the western region of the United States showed the strongest brick & mortar sales growth for the full season. Though they experienced low growth rates by midseason, New England, the mid-Atlantic and the southwest rebounded with higher growth rates by the end of the season.

All data referenced in the report is First Data proprietary transaction data and includes only actual card-based forms of payment. More than 1.3 million merchant locations across the United States were used for the analysis, which represent the number of stores open for business between October 31, 2015 through January 4, 2016 that have been serviced by First Data for at least 13 months. These locations include everything from mom-and-pop shops to large retailers, both brick-and-mortar and online.

About First Data

First Data is a global leader in commerce-enabling technology and solutions, serving approximately six million business locations and 4,000 financial institutions in 118 countries around the world. The company’s 23,000 owner-associates are dedicated to helping companies, from start-ups to the world’s largest corporations, conduct commerce every day by securing and processing more than 2,300 transactions per second and $1.9 trillion per year.


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