Americans ratcheted up their holiday spending over the four-day weekend, driving sales up 5.4% to $68.9 billion from a year ago, according to Customer Growth Partners LLC.
Walmart Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp. and Target Corp. paced the “stellar” growth during the Black Friday weekend, said Craig Johnson, president of the consulting firm that has tracked holiday spending since 2005.
“After a seasonally slow early November, retail has inflected upwards ever since and has hardly looked back,” Johnson said. The growth came despite persistent weakness in apparel and at department stores, he said.
Transactions climbed 3.3%, while the average receipt amount rose 2.1%, he said. He attributed the gains to strength in full-time job growth, wage increases, stable gasoline prices and this year’s stock market rally.
The trade war with China has had little impact on consumers, besides in the appliance sector, Johnson said, as most retailers took steps to mitigate the impact of tariffs.
“The massive growth in household income will provide a halo effect over consumer spending even in the wake of existing or new tariffs -- and may even offer a friendly tailwind to retailers’ sales growth,” he said.
By Lisa Wolfson