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Holiday Wrap-Up: Santa Smiled Upon Electronics And Appliance Dealers

As we close the book on Holiday 2016, credit card processor First Data reports a happy ending to the season for tech and appliance retailers.

Based on a study of point-of-sale activity at 942,155 merchants last quarter, the payment solutions provider said sell-through for CE and majap dealers rose 8.5 percent for the holiday period (Oct. 29-Jan. 2), compared to the prior year’s 2.2 percent decline.

Indeed, the CE/majap specialty channel was second only to home improvement segment, which rose 10.7 percent over the holidays, and just ahead of health and personal care stores, which enjoyed a 5.6 percent gain.

By comparison, total retail spending increased 3.6 percent over the previous holiday season, reflecting a 1.6 percent increase in brick-and-mortar sales and a 12 percent spike in e-commerce purchases. What’s more, 21.3 percent of all holiday spending was conducted online (more than one-fifth), up substantially from the channel’s 15.4 percent share the prior year.

Source:First Data Holiday 2016 SpendTrend report

For brown- and white-goods merchants, brick-and-mortar sales contributed 14 percent to the channel’s overall holiday growth and represented 6 percent of total physical store spend.

Online, CE and appliance sellers accounted for 8 percent of channel growth and 8 percent of total spend.

“We continue to see a strong shift to online shopping and were impressed with the significant growth in e-commerce transactions,” said Rishi Chhabra, information and analytics VP. “More and more, shoppers are opting to stay home to avoid the crowds and make purchases on their own time.”

Not surprisingly, First Data also found that sales for CE and appliance dealers spiked over the Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday cycle, with brick-and-mortar sales up 16.1 percent year over year, and online sales up 15.8 percent for the five-day period.

However, average ticket for CE and majaps across the entire holiday season was essentially flat from 2015 at $123.59.