2014 Holiday Retail and Gift Card Spending
RetailRetail spending growth was healthy at 4.3% as favorable weather conditions supported consumers’ willingness to get out and shop; weather this week marked the warmest first week of December since 2012. Retail transaction growth was a 2.8%, as retail foot-traffic is usually moderate the week following the Thanksgiving holiday. The improved labor market and Christmas shopping towards the end of the month should support retail spending in the coming weeks.
Gift CardGift card activation dollar volume growth was modest at 2.6%, as most consumers are likely waiting to purchase gift cards until Christmas nears. While gift card activation spending was strong at QSR restaurants (13.8%), gift card activation spending slipped at casual dining restaurants (-1.9%). Meanwhile, gift card activation dollar volume growth for Specialty Retail was healthy at 7.8%. Gift card spending should gain traction in the coming weeks as the Christmas holiday nears.
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