Canadians Set to Repeat the Last Minute Dash to the Mall for

Canadians Set to Repeat the Last Minute Dash to the Mall for Holiday
Holiday shopping rush begins as shoppers get a slow start in November
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 12/20/12 --  
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Last minute Canadian shoppers may have a list, but they are running
out of time to check it twice, according to the latest MasterCard
Advisors  SpendingPulse economic insights. Canadians were off to a
slow start on their holiday shopping with November 2012 retail sales
seeing a 1.3 per cent year-over-year growth totaling $30.5 billion,
which is flat compared to the 5.3 per cent year-over-year growth rate
seen in October 2012. 
But a three-year analysis of holiday shopping trends between October
28 and December 29 from 2009 to 2011 indicates that the real mall
dash begins closer to the last few days of the holiday countdown.
Historically, the top three busiest holiday shopping days fell within
the last week of the holiday shopping crunch on December 20, 21 and
Heading into the final holiday shopping weekend, this is good news
for Canadian department stores, which experienced only a 1.3 per cent
year-over-year growth in November 2012 sales after posting four
consecutive months of year-over-year sales growth above six per cent. 
"Many Canadians may have gotten an early start with Black Friday and
Cyber Monday this year, but it's still a very young phenomenon in
Canada," said Richard McLaughlin, Senior Vice-President of Global
Products and Solutions, MasterCard Worldwide. "There will always be
last minute shoppers making the mad dash to get the perfect gift. But
a combination of growing eCommerce and Black Friday sales in Canada
is likely to contribute to more growth in pre-holiday sales in future
Canadians may have waited until the last minute, but they braved long
holiday line-ups in stores to make sure they had their special gifts
in time for Christmas. According to the three-year trend analysis,
online transactions in Canada peaked the second week of December, but
slowed dramatically closer to the holidays. However, American
shoppers waited until the last cyber second with heaviest eCommerce
transactions five to 14 days before Christmas. 
"Milestone shopping days like Black Friday, Cy
ber Monday and Boxing
Day have made a significant impact on retail spending. Increasingly,
we see retailers using "door buster" sales to boost spending on Black
Friday and Boxing Day, as well as incentives such as free shipping
during Cyber Monday week. These discounts and incentives have
contributed to the milestone days becoming an even more critical part
of the holiday season both for consumers and retailers," said Michael
McNamara, Vice-President of Research and Analysis for MasterCard
Advisors SpendingPulse.  
In November 2012, e-Commerce sales continued to see positive growth
above the 20 per cent threshold for the 11th consecutive month,
posting at a rate of 26.4 per cent growth compared to the same period
in 2011. 
Other comparative MasterCard Spending Pulse insights from the
nine-week holiday spending period from 2009 to 2011 include: 

--  Total share of wallet during the holiday spending season typically
    hovers close to 20 per cent of total annual retail spend in both Canada
    and the U.S. 
--  Online electronics purchases on Boxing Day in Canada surpassed pre-
    holiday and Black Friday spending at an average of nine per cent of
    total holiday spend. 
--  Boxing Day has historically been one of the top 10 holiday shopping days
    in Canada, while it is one of the lightest days in the U.S. 
--  The week of Cyber Monday contributed, on average, 16 per cent to total
    holiday spend in Canada versus 15 per cent in the U.S. during the same

SpendingPulse reports are available in Canada on a monthly
subscription basis, and tracks month-over-month and year-over-year
spending patterns across a variety of sectors. The consumer spending
insights help businesses better understand the economic environment
in which they operate to make informed business decisions. 
About MasterCard 
MasterCard (NYSE:MA),, is a global payments and
technology company. It operates the world's fastest payments
processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions,
merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and
territories. MasterCard's products and solutions make everyday
commerce activities - such as shopping, traveling, running a business
and managing finances - easier, more secure and more efficient for
everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion
on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news. 
About MasterCard SpendingPulse  
A macro-economic indicator, MasterCard SpendingPulse reports on
national retail sales and is based on aggregate sales activity in the
MasterCard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for
certain other payment forms, including cash and cheque. MasterCard
SpendingPulse does not represent MasterCard financial performance.
SpendingPulse is provided by MasterCardAdvisors, the professional
services arm of MasterCard International Incorporated. MasterCard
SpendingPulse reports and content, including estimated forecasts of
spending trends, do not in any way contain, reflect or relate to
actual MasterCard operational or financial performance, or specific
payment-card-issuer data. 
About MasterCard Advisors 
As the professional services arm of MasterCard Worldwide, MasterCard
Advisors is uniquely qualified to provide clients with insights and
solutions that drive tangible impact and financial gain. MasterCard
Advisors provides payments consulting, information, analytics, and
customized services that deliver value to its customers. In doing so,
the company uses information to create products and services in which
privacy and security are fundamental to their design. A technology
company that is an electronic payments leader, MasterCard is
committed to the responsible use of information and pledges strong
privacy protection for the transaction data the company processes.
Its information management practices support the company's mission to
make payments safe, simple and smart. For more information, go to 
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