Mastercard Report: June Retail Sales Rise 11 Percent

Retail sales continue to outpace 2020 and 2019 results.

According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, June 2021 retail sales in the U.S. rose 11 percent over June 2020 and 10.4 percent over June 2019. Last month marked the ninth consecutive month of total retail sales growth, Mastercard reported Friday.

E-commerce growth continued to hold steady, up 8.3 percent last month compared to June 2020, and up 95 percent from June 2019. The pandemic caused a sharp shift to spending online, and away from brick-and-mortar stores.

Mastercard SpendingPulse measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment, and excludes auto and gas sales.

In its breakdown by sector, Mastercard reported that sales at restaurants grew 55.1 percent last month compared to June 2020, and 16.8 percent from June 2019.

Department store sales were up 67.4 percent last month compared to June 2020, and up 11.8 percent from June 2019.

Apparel specialty sales rose 62.1 percent, and 12.7 percent, from June 2020 and June 2019, respectively.

Mastercard said June sales were fueled by stimulus checks, child tax credits and improving consumer sentiment. “Consumers continue to venture out more for meals and shop both online and in stores, refreshing their looks for summer camp, vacations and travel,” Mastercard said in its June 2021 report.

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On the other hand, sales of furniture and furnishings were down 5.3 percent compared to last year’s strong sales, when consumers were doing home projects in the midst of the pandemic, but sales remain elevated for the sector overall at plus 16.6 percent compared to June 2019.

With June results indicating sustained momentum, retailers are poised to experience robust back-to-school and holiday selling seasons.

As reported, estimates by Customer Growth Partners research and consulting firm call for a 16 percent year-over-year gain in sales for the period between July and September, with apparel and accessories sales generating a “stunning 46 percent growth from 2020’s abysmal sales.”

And according to a Deloitte consumer survey, b-t-s spending will reach a collective $32.5 billion for K-12 students, about $612 a student, and back-to-college shoppers will spend $26.7 billion, about $1,459 a student. Deloitte said the rise in spending is being caused by consumers spending more money on technology, having experienced an acceleration of digital tools during the pandemic.

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