Jewelry Sales Soared in July, Says Mastercard
July also marked the return of the in-store shopper, according to the SpendingPulse survey.
Sales in the category were up 83 percent year-over-year in July and up 54 percent when compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
The survey measures overall U.S. retail sales across all payment types, including cash and check.
Total U.S. retail sales, excluding automobiles and gas, were up 11 percent year-over-year in July and up 10 percent compared with July 2019, according to Mastercard.
Online sales rose 6 percent year-over-year and are up 78 percent compared with July 2019.
“While e-commerce continues to play an increasingly significant role for retail, nothing replaces the in-store experience,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and chairman of Saks Inc., in a press release about the survey.
“July numbers reflect a return to the store. Consumers are shopping, spending, and splurging across channels.”
As per the survey, in-store sales accounted for 82 percent of total retail sales, excluding auto sales, in July.
In-store sales were up 16 percent year-over-year in July, and exceeded pre-pandemic levels. The survey noted positive spikes over the weekends.
Shoppers had more cash in hand to spend, due in part to pent-up savings and the Child Tax Credit, which arrived just in time for back-to-school season.
Part of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, the tax credit meant most families will receive automatic monthly payments of $250-$300 per child. The program began July 15, marking the first of six monthly payments.
The back-to-school season was a boon to the apparel sector, with sales up 80 percent year-over-year, and to department stores, with sales up 45 percent year-over-year.
The uptick was concentrated in the days immediately following the first payment on July 15, said Mastercard.
Though new home sales have fallen to an 18-month low, as per U.S. Census Bureau data, consumers are still sprucing up their spaces.
The furniture and furnishing sector was up 3 percent year-over-year and up 27 percent compared with 2019.
Consumers headed back to restaurants as well, with sales up 61 percent year-over-year and 30 percent compared with 2019.
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