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Ecommerce

US store closings are going on despite sales growth in holiday season

Wednesday 4 January 2017 | 09:37 AM CET

More store closings are expected in 2017, despite the fact that retailers have seen the biggest growth in holiday sales since 2011.

Tihs is due to the fact that an important amount of the spending for the season went to online sellers. In-stores purchases were driven especially by discounting, usatoday.com reports.

Promotions are not very profitable for the merchants who own traditional stores, according to Steven Barr, retail consumer leader for consultants PwC.

Macy's has already announced it will close about 100 stores in 2017. The closings will amount to about 15% of Macy's 675 full-line locations.

Overall, consumers spent USD 196.1 billion on holiday purchases, up 3.8%, the biggest increase since 2011, says research firm Conlumino. MasterCard's SpendingPulse put the increase at 4% and said the day before Christmas was the top shopping day of the season.

While stores saw a 2.6% increase, online sellers saw their sales soar 17.1%, according to Conlumino. It was the biggest online gain for online in at least a decade.

Sales at traditional stores were up 6.5% in the final week before Christmas and the start of Hannukah, compared to the same week in 2015, says trackers RetailNext. While overall foot traffic was down 3.9% compared to 2015, shoppers spend 9.9% more in the average sales transaction.

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