Consumers are still spending money on experiences, like travel and restaurants, this holiday season. ‘This trend is across all age groups,’ said Sarah Quinlan, sr. vice president & group head of market insights at MasterCard Advisors. ‘The thinking is, let’s build a memory as opposed to actually buying stuff.’ Quinlan said she’s seen record high spending on airlines, per MasterCard SpendingPulse, which provides industry sales data. She said apparel sales performed well over the Thanksgiving shopping weekend, given the change in weather. The warmer temperatures as of late has delayed consumers’ purchases of big ticket items like coats and boots. On the flip side, Quinlan said there was softness in electronics sales over the shopping weekend. She also said worries about the demise of sales in brick-and-mortar stores are overblown. ‘Only 6.7 percent of sales are done online in [terms of] total retail sales, so they’ve got a long way to go to kill the store – the store is still king.’ TheStreet’s Scott Gamm speaks with Quinlan in New York.
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