: Eat, drink and be merry: Here’s where shoppers have been spending the most money this holiday season

by | Dec 26, 2022 | Stock Market

Restaurants are set to become the biggest winners of a holiday season that could turn out to be the most normalized since the onset of the pandemic. That’s according to a new Mastercard SpendingPulse survey released on Monday, which showed spending at dining establishments surging 15.1% over the 2021 holiday period. Total retail expenditures for the Nov. 1–to–Dec. 24 period in 2022 rose 7.6%, with in-store spending up 6.8% and online spending up 10.6%.

Restaurant spending beat out several other categories, such as apparel, where spending was up 4.4% from 2021, and electronics and jewelry, where a respective 5.3% and 5.4% less were spent, and department stores, which saw spending rise 1%. “This holiday retail season looked different than years past,” said Steve Sadove, senior adviser for Mastercard and former CEO and chairman of Saks Inc. “Retailers discounted heavily but consumers diversified their holiday spending to accommodate rising prices and an appetite for experiences and festive gatherings postpandemic.” Government data for November showed consumer spending was up just 0.1%, reflecting cautiousness among households and price cutting by retailers to lure those hesitant shoppers in. But the data also showed more spending on holiday recreation and travel, expected to go in the books as a busy season even if deadly winter storm may have wreaked havoc on the plans of many Americans over the Christmas weekend. Of course, even as some merrymakers felt conf …

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