Retailers, consumers and prices
Check Out Line: Mixed Sales News
Check Out mixed news on the retail sales front.
The retail data service of MasterCard Advisors said U.S. retail sales fell as much as 4 percent during the holiday season. SpendingPulse tracks sales activity in the MasterCard payments network and couples that with estimates for other payment forms.
It found that luxury sector sales fell 34.5 percent, as job losses and stock market declines weighed on higher-end shoppers. Specialty electronics and appliance sales were off 26.7 percent.
But the news wasn’t all bad. Online retailer Amazon.com said this year’s holiday sales season was its best yet, with more than 6.3 million items ordered on its site on the peak shopping day of Dec. 15. Online sales were likely aided by winter weather in some parts of the United States.
Retail shares even turned higher on Friday — perhaps investors are more confident that it can’t get much worse?
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