Holiday’16 Shopping Trend Took a Detour in the Seventh Week of the Season – Retailers Continued to Chase Growth as Shoppers Enjoyed Deep Discounts

NPD Holiday Shopping Bag 2016 Weekly Report

The final holiday shopping push appears to be on a delay compared to last year, and deep discounts further delayed the benefits for retailers. According to The NPD Group’s weekly point-of-sale results for key general merchandise categories across in-store and online channels, dollar sales in the seventh week of the 2016 holiday shopping season  were 11 percent lower than the same week in 2015. Cumulatively, dollar sales in the first seven weeks of the 2016 holiday shopping season were 4 percent behind the first seven weeks of the 2015 holiday season. 

Week Ending December 17, 2016*

Overall Performance

  • Dollar sales in the seventh week of Holiday 2016 were 11 percent lower than the seventh week of Holiday 2015.
  • Each of the five industries being tracked — Apparel, Toys, Technology, Athletic Footwear, and Prestige Fragrances — saw dollar sales declines, the steepest of the holiday season so far.
  • Apparel performed the best of the five industries being tracked, with the lowest decline for the week.

Top Performing Categories

  • Home Automation
  • PC’s (driven by Notebooks)
  • Stereo Headphones
  • Games/Puzzles
  • Instant Print Cameras


“Discounts are used by retailers to either manage excess inventory or stimulate sluggish selling, and this holiday it is certainly the latter. However, discounts have been too readily available this holiday season to offset declines compared to last year,” said NPD’s Chief Industry Analyst, Marshal Cohen. “Retailers are trying to compete across all channels with the same merchandise so price becomes the focus. The level of discounting in play this holiday season is making it a challenge to capture the volume seen last year.”


* Information is collected from a panel of leading retailers that provide weekly point-of-sale data covering in-store and online sales of Apparel, Toys, Technology, Athletic Footwear, and Prestige Fragrances

Note: Shifts may occur from week to week in reporting results, due to retailer reporting updates.

Press Contact

Janine Marshall

The NPD Group, Inc.
900 West Shore Road
Port Washington, NY 11050

Checkout TrackingSM provides detailed information on consumer buying behavior, based on receipts for both online and brick-and-mortar retail purchases from the same consumers over time. Checkout Tracking delivers precise category, brand, and item-level purchase detail linked to buyers and their demographics, useful for analyzing competitive market baskets and identifying purchase patterns.  Information is collected from more than 50,000 consumers from NPD’s receipt-harvesting mobile phone app and the scanning of more than 4 million in-boxes for e-receipts through Slice Intelligence.

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