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Early Holiday Spending Suggests Strong Season for TVs, Videogames

Published on November 24, 2009
by Vanessa O'Connell and Miguel Bustill

Consumers are generally cautious heading into the critical holiday shopping season, with preseason trends suggesting that electronics sales may be solid while sales of apparel, particularly women’s styles, could get pummeled.

Spurred by the release of a hot videogame and earlier-than-usual promotions on televisions, U.S. shoppers spent 6.1 percent more on electronics in the first half of November the month, through Nov. 14, than a year ago, according to a recent analysis from MasterCard SpendingPulse, a unit of MasterCard Advisors.

The new data, based on MasterCard SpendingPulse data, which reflect estimates on all payment forms, including cash and checks, comes days before Thanksgiving, the traditional kickoff to the holiday selling season, when consumers traditionally spend several hundred billion of dollars. Retailers count on holiday sales for as much as 40 percent of their annual sales and half their annual profits.

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