Brick-and-mortar sales see continued rebound with double-digit growth
From a clean home to a new wardrobe, Spring brings fresh starts and beckons consumers outside and back into stores. According to Mastercard SpendingPulse™, which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment, total retail sales excluding auto in April increased +7.2% year-over-year (YOY) and +15.3% compared to pre-pandemic spending (2019), not adjusted for inflation. This is similar to the YOY monthly growth experienced thus far in 2022.
Key trends for April reinforce consumer resilience in the face of inflation and highlight seasonal spending across sectors and channels. Of note:
Springing into stores: In-store sales were up +10.0%, while e-commerce sales are down -1.8% compared to last year, reflecting consumer demand to get out. However, online sales remain elevated (+92.0%) vs pre-pandemic April 2019. California, New York, Florida, Nevada and Illinois were among the states leading the charge back to brick and mortar.
Warm weather wardrobe: Consumers refreshing their wardrobes for potential summer travel and the warmer months ahead contributed to continued growth for Apparel (+10.8% YOY / +8.4% pre-pandemic) and Department Stores (+15.7% YOY / +22.3% pre-pandemic), though rates have started to soften from the peaks earlier this year.
Nesting season: Furniture and Furnishing sales, which saw the seventh consecutive month of positive growth, were up +3.8% YOY and +25.7% compared to pre-pandemic 2019 levels. While the super-hot housing market is starting to show signs of cooling, consumers continue investing in their homes and feathering their nests for seasons to come.
“Whether for a family barbeque, returning to the office or senior prom, it seems like everyone is out shopping for something,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and Chairman of Saks Incorporated. “Mastercard SpendingPulse shows spending across sectors in April.”
*Excluding automotive sales.