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TheStreet Open House

Chase Launches 7th Annual Chase Holiday Pulse

Chase today launched the 2012 Chase Holiday Pulse, a comprehensive and near-real-time tracker of consumer shopping trends during the holiday season. For the seventh consecutive year, Chase Paymentech, a leading merchant acquirer, payment processor and subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co. [NYSE:JPM], provides data tracking aggregated online sales volume, payment transactions and average ticket value from 50 of its largest e-commerce retailers. For the first time, the Pulse also provides aggregated Chase card retail spending data at brick-and-mortar merchants. Together, the data offers a comprehensive, one-of-a kind insight into both online and in-store holiday shopping habits.

“The holiday shopping season has always been a critical barometer for economic activity,” said Eileen Serra, CEO of Chase Card Services. “A strong start to the holiday shopping season typically sets the tone for sales volume for the remainder of the year.”

2012 Holiday Shopping Outlook

Every year, merchants’ holiday marketing and the shopping season appear to start earlier. Looking at the initial Chase Holiday Pulse data from online and in-store activity starting October 29 through November 15, 2012, this year’s holiday season is already in full swing.

  • Sales Volume: Year-over-year e-commerce sales volume is up 12.3 percent, while in-store sales are up 1.0 percent, even with the impact of Superstorm Sandy. The data indicates that retailers are prepped for the holiday shopping season and already offering early sales and promotions, jumpstarting consumer spending.
  • Transactions: Transactions are showing a positive trend with year-over-year growth at 25.0 percent and 2.2 percent for online and in-store, respectively.
  • Average Ticket Prices: Early indicators point to a continued decline in e-commerce average ticket size, down 10.1 percent year-over-year. In-store ticket sizes saw a smaller decline, down 1.1 percent. This is consistent with last year’s Chase Holiday Pulse, which demonstrated a new trend in spending habits: sales volume rose while average ticket prices declined.
  • Key Retail Category changes: Key industries are seeing strong year-over-year growth:
    • For e-commerce purchases, sales growth is up 27.2 percent for Consumer Electronics and up 32.5 percent for Mass Market, which comprises of large e-retailers providing affordably priced products such as electronics, apparel, furniture and jewelry.
    • For in-store purchases, sales growth is 12 percent for Sporting Goods and up 5 percent for Wholesale Clubs.

“The improvement in October’s University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment over last year’s reading leads us to believe that holiday sales (over November and December) should rise by as much as 4.5% (on a year-over-year basis) versus last year’s 3.3% figure,” said Anthony Chan, head economist for JPMorgan Chase. “Additionally, the recent rise in housing prices and the healthy (year-to-date) jump in U.S. equity prices are likely to put downward pressure on U.S. savings rates and thereby provide some support to holiday sales this year.”

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