Consumers who purchased discounted goods early in the holiday season and during Black Friday and Cyber Monday likely contributed to an overall dollar volume decline through the first two weeks of December, suggests First Data Corp.’s SpendTrend payment card transaction analysis of all store sales activity that First Data processes.
Year-over-year dollar volume through the first two weeks of December was up 6.6%, down from 8.1% growth in November, First Data says.
First Data declined to provide actual figures.
Consumers made more purchases in early December, but the average ticket size decreased compared with that of the previous month. Year-over-year card-transaction growth increased 8.1% compared with 7.7% in November. The average ticket price dropped by 1.4%.
The retail sector reported dollar volume growth at 5.4% compared with 8.5% growth in November. Transaction growth declined to 5.9% from 7.7% in November.
First Data had anticipated the decreases in transaction growth through the first two weeks December.
“We’ll likely have a slow start to December, and the real telling week will be the week of Christmas,” Silvio Tavares, senior vice president and division manager, First Data information services and analytics, told PaymentsSource last month (see story).
The week before Christmas usually determines how well a retailer fares for the overall holiday season, Tavares adds.