A recent report by Mastercard SpendingPulse™ forecasts U.S. back-to-school retail sales to grow by 7.5% this year. Although inflation has been impacting many retail sectors and households, consumer demand has contributed to double-digit growth across most retail sectors, including department stores, jewelry, and luxury brand stores in May.
Mastercard SpendingPulse™ measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment, not adjusted for inflation. Expectations from mid-July through the Labor Day back-to-school timeframe show an expected growth of 7.5% excluding automotive compared to 2021, and up 18.3% compared to pre-pandemic 2019. Department Stores are expected to be the highest retail sector in sales.
“Back-to-school is the second biggest season for retailers and is often looked at as an early indicator of retail momentum ahead of the traditional holiday season,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and Chairman of Saks Incorporated. “While Mastercard SpendingPulse anticipates growth across sectors, retailers will need to find innovative ways to entice shoppers as discretionary spending potentially stretches thin as a result of increasing prices.”