More specifically, the graphic above shows that:
- Volatility is evident in sales growth that can spike well above average in any given year—or periodically slow to a significant degree.
- Growth since the Great Recession has been about 1.5 percentage points weaker on average compared with the years prior to that downturn.
- In 2020, the pandemic produced the strongest holiday retail sales since 1999. The gains, however, were focused in just three places: e-commerce, home improvement and sporting goods/hobby stores.
Note that the store types considered here are shown among the “multiple selections” in the chart’s drop-down box, which can be changed to show the holiday pattern for any specific retail channel.