Mastercard SpendingPulse predicts significant growth in retail sales for 2022 back-to-school shopping season

Wednesday, Jun 15, 2022

Mid-July through Labor Day is a critical time for the back-to-school shopping period. The season is quickly approaching, and Mastercard SpendingPulse has forecasted significant growth in retail sales for the 2022 back-to-school season. U.S. retail sales are expected to surge 7.5% compared to 2021, and up 18.3% compared to pre-pandemic 2019.

“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. 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,” said Steve Sadove, Senior Advisor for Mastercard.

According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, the back-to-school season will be dependant on the resilience and flexibility of today’s consumers. The following retail trends are predicted for 2022:

  • The In-Store Experience: Shopping for back-to-school becomes an experience of its own. From needing to try on new sizes to wanting to browse the latest fashions in person, the return to stores is expected to grow 8.2% year-over-year
  • Department Stores Continue their Rebound: Serving as a one stop shop with a range of options for the whole family at a variety of price points, the back-to-school season is anticipated to drive the Department Store sector up 13% year-over-year. 
  • Stacked Social Calendars Drive Apparel Growth: More gatherings require more looks. With weddings, events and vacations lined up for the foreseeable future, the demand for appare in-store sees no signs of slowing, forecasted to be up 8.7% year-over-year. 

Consumer demand has contributed to double digit growth across multiple retail sectors in May. U.S. retail sales increased 10.5% year-over-year in May, and 21.4% compared to pre-pandemic May 2019. This is a promising sign for the back-to-school season as retail shopping is anticipating a major growth surge in the coming months. 

“The continued retail sales momentum in May aligns with the sustained growth rates we’ve seen so far this year. The consumer has been resilient, spending on goods and increasingly services as the economy continues to rebalance,” said Michelle Meyer, U.S. Chief Economist, Mastercard Economics Institute.

Source: Mastercard SpendingPulse – Press Release
Photo Credit: Freepik

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