On Tuesday, Mastercard Inc reported that shoppers spent more than ever this holiday season, over $800 billion, which resulted in the shares of United States department stores to spike.

Sarah Quinlan, head of market insights for Mastercard Advisors, revealed the number after the company published its SpendingPulse retail report.  The credit company tracks spending by combining sales activity in its payments network with estimates of cash as well as other payment forms, omitting automobile sales. The report stated that holiday sales in stores and online between Nov 1 and Dec 24 increased by 4.9 percent, the fastest year-on-year pace of increase since 2011.

Many U.S. retail stocks have put up a tough fight, but continue to lose sales to online stores, specifically Amazon.com Inc. On Tuesday shares in J.C. Penney Co Inc increased by 7.6 percent, Kohl’s Corp shares were up 5.8 percent, Macy’s Inc increased by 5.1 percent and Nordstrom Inc gained 2.8 percent.

The report concluded that there was a modest increase in sales in apparel and department stores and given the amount of different store closures this years, it is impressive.

Online sales increased by 18.1 percent during this year, according to the report. Amazon likely took the home the trophy again this holiday season, according to an opinion poll conducted this month.  On Tuesday, Amazon had reported that this year it had surpassed its worldwide holiday sales record, with more than 4 million people singing up to trial Amazon Prime in a one-week period during the holiday season.

“But that’s probably only 11 or 12 percent of total retail sales … the bulk of sales still is very much in stores,” said Quinlan. “There’s growth, don’t get me wrong, but we still love that experience of being in store.”


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