Chase: December Retail Transactions Up 35% Over 2010

It was another record holiday season for online retailers, as measured by the 2011 Chase Paymentech Pulse Index. In December, transactions were up 35% and sales were up 22% over 2010. While December sales did not match growth from early in the season, the numbers are still impressive given the volume at that time.

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With Christmas falling on a Sunday, merchants offered guaranteed shipping later into the week, giving consumers extra time to make online purchases. And on the Monday after, consumers took advantage of post-holiday deals, redeemed gift cards, and filled their new digital devices with media. In all, transactions were up 37%, sales rose 25%, and average tickets declined 9% for 2011.

This news is consistent with holiday sales data from Macy’s (NYSE:M), Limited Brands (NYSE:LTD), teen retailer Zumiez Inc (NASDAQ:ZUMZ), and Buckle Inc. (NYSE:BKE). These retailers reported December sales improving between 6 to 10 percent.

However, not all U.S. retailers reported positive sales figures in December. Retailers missing estimates cited warmer weather affecting winter goods sales, setbacks in television sales, and lower demand for the traditional holiday items such as electronics, music, movies and books. The stores which missed estimates include Costco (NASDAQ:COST), Target Corp (NYSE:TGT), Bon-Ton (NASDAQ:BONT), Stage Stores (NYSE:SSI) and Gap (NYSE:GPS).

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To contact the reporter on this story: Damien Hoffman at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at