The Week Before Christmas ’16 Was the Merriest of All For Retail

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NPD Holiday Shopping Bag 2016 Weekly Report: Double-Digit Growth in Week 8 Regained Most of What Was Lost Earlier in the Holiday Season

NPD Holiday Shopping Bag 2016 Weekly Report - Wk8 Chart.jpg

“The eighth week of the 2016 holiday season was a perfect storm of holiday shopping behavior," said NPD’s Chief Industry Analyst, Marshal Cohen.

Consumers gave retailers what they were wishing for in the week leading up to Christmas, a sales boost. According to The NPD Group’s weekly point-of-sale results for key general merchandise categories across in-store and online channels, dollar sales in the eighth week of the 2016 holiday shopping season were 16 percent higher than the same week in 2015. While the eighth week outperformed the historically peak week of Thanksgiving, cumulatively, dollar sales in the first eight weeks of the 2016 holiday shopping season were still 1 percent behind the first eight weeks of the 2015 season.

Week Ending December 24, 2016*

Overall Performance
Dollar sales in the eighth week of Holiday 2016 were 16 percent higher than the eighth week of Holiday 2015.

o Toys: +26%
o Apparel: +17%
o Prestige Fragrance: +16%
o Technology: +11%
o Athletic Footwear: +8%

Top Performing Categories

  • Men’s Apparel
  • Women’s Apparel
  • Total PC’s (Notebooks)
  • Dolls
  • Infant/Toddler/Preschool Toys

“The eighth week of the 2016 holiday season included two more shopping days before Christmas than in 2015, delayed Hanukkah shopping that occurred at the beginning of December last year, and a shipping deadline crunch that brought more action into stores for online pick-ups and last-minute impulse buys –
it was a perfect storm of holiday shopping behavior. Toys and apparel were the clear winners of the week with double-digit growth that more than made up for what was lost in prior weeks,” said NPD’s Chief Industry Analyst, Marshal Cohen. “The final week of the 2016 season will take on new meaning with continued Hanukkah shopping, post-Christmas celebrations, and consumers beginning to cash in those gift cards that played such a big role this holiday.”

*Information is collected from a panel of leading retailers that provide weekly point-of-sale data covering in-store and online sales of Apparel, Toys, Technology, Athletic Footwear, and Prestige Fragrances.

Note: Shifts may occur from week to week in reporting results, due to retailer reporting updates.

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Janine Marshall
The NPD Group
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