Study: CU Members Spent 15 Percent More in 2011 Holiday Season (Misc News: January 17, 2012)
Shoppers who belong to credit unions spent 15 percent more and made 15 percent more transactions during the peak holiday shopping season in 2011 than in 2010, according to an analysis by CO-OP Financial Services and Saylent Technologies, a provider of payment intelligence solutions.
“This month-long holiday spending surge among credit union members is even higher than Black Friday sales growth among the same group, which we found grew 8.1 percent year over year,” said Stan Hollen, president/CEO of CO-OP Financial Services. “This robust sales activity mirrors the powerful momentum of the credit union movement overall.”
The holiday sales analysis is based on more than 71.9 million transactions representing $2.8 billion in spending made between Nov. 25 and Dec. 25. Drawn from debit card transactions across 563 credit unions processed by CO-OP Financial Services, the year-over-year comparison was conducted by Saylent’s Insight360™ consulting team.
“Our analysis revealed a remarkable 10 percent increase in the number of debit cards in use during the holiday season, the result of a burgeoning consumer interest in credit unions,” said Tyson Nargassans, president and CEO of Saylent Technologies.
The analysis spanned 30 days of spending activity among the credit union members both at brick-and-mortar establishments and on the Internet. Some of the key highlights:
- Popular gifts: Among the merchandise categories showing strongest gains were leather goods (up 42 percent), records and CDs (up 42 percent), flowers and nursery stock (up 40 percent), bicycles (up 22 percent), computer software (up 21 percent), books (up 21 percent), candy and nuts (up 18 percent), and pets (up 17 percent).
- Holiday cheer: Tavern and alcoholic beverage purveyors toasted the end of the year with a 48 percent increase in sales.
- A season of giving: Contributions to charitable and social service organizations were up 38 percent year-over-year.
- Stocking up: Buying clubs and shopping services bulked up with a 125 percent sales increase.
- ’Tis the season for politics: The end of 2011 saw a spike in political contributions, up 513 percent over the same time last year, as the U.S. Presidential campaign season went into full swing.