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Press release from CNW Group

Online Retail Sales in Canada up Over 24% through First Half of 2012

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Online Retail Sales in Canada up Over 24% through First Half of 201210:00 EDT Thursday, August 09, 2012New MasterCard Canada SpendingPulse™ Report Demonstrates e-Commerce is the Shining Light in RetailTORONTO, Aug. 9, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, MasterCard Canada made its first public release of insights from SpendingPulse, a product of MasterCard Advisors, which highlights total retail sales - across all payment forms including cash and cheque - as well as sales in four key retail categories: e-Commerce, Grocery, Department Stores and Gasoline."SpendingPulse reports are unique value-adds to decision-makers who want an immediate pulse-check on the Canadian market. The real time and accurate insights offer unparalleled understanding of consumer spending, allowing businesses to be more precise with their investments and customer focus, "said Betty DeVita, Regional President of MasterCard Canada.According to the June 2012 report, overall Canadian retail sales for the first six months of 2012 came in at a modest growth of 2.2%. The report also indicates an impressive growth in e-Commerce, up 24.9% compared to the first six months of 2011. e-Commerce sales grew for the ninth consecutive month above the 20% threshold."While overall retail sales growth in Canada has been modest through the first half of the year, the e-Commerce growth rates are truly impressive.  The growth in online sales is a good indicator of how Canadian retailers are capitalizing on the shift of sales from brick and mortar locations to online sales channels," says Michael McNamara, Vice President of Research and Analysis for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse.Other highlights include:Department store sales have shown an increase of 6.1% compared to the first six months of 2011.While essentially flat compared to 2011, Grocery sales have shown the first positive year-over-year comparison in 2012 for the month of June at 0.3%.Gasoline sales increased in the first half of 2012 primarily due to price increases.  As oil and gasoline prices began to subside, the dollar sales growth for this sector also decelerated.SpendingPulse launched in the United States in March 2006 and is one of the most frequently cited measures of the U.S. retail economy. In Canada, SpendingPulse began offering reports starting in January 2012 to subscribers, providing granular, industry-specific sales figures across all payment modes with accuracy and timeliness.SpendingPulse reports are available on a subscription basis, released monthly and track, month-over-month, year-over-year changes and other relevant breakouts. The insights help businesses better understand the economic environment in which they operate and make informed decisions. SpendingPulse reports can be shared within a corporation and are applicable to decision makers who operate within the investments, risk, media, consumer payments and merchant arenas.About MasterCardMasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com,is a global payments and technology company. It operates the world's fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard's products and solutions make everyday commerce activities - such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances - easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.About MasterCard SpendingPulse A macro‐economic indicator, MasterCard SpendingPulse reports on national retail sales and is based on aggregate sales activity in the MasterCard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other payment forms, including cash and cheque. MasterCard SpendingPulse does not represent MasterCard financial performance. SpendingPulse is provided by MasterCardAdvisors, the professional services arm of MasterCard International Incorporated.MasterCard SpendingPulse reports and content, including estimated forecasts of spending trends, do not in any way contain, reflect or relate to actual MasterCard operational or financial performance, or specific payment-card-issuer data.About MasterCard AdvisorsAs the professional services arm of MasterCard Worldwide, MasterCard Advisors is uniquely qualified to provide clients with insights and solutions that drive tangible impact and financial gain. MasterCard Advisors provides payments consulting, information, analytics, and customized services that deliver value to its customers. In doing so, the company uses information to create products and services in which privacy and security are fundamental to their design. A technology company that is an electronic payments leader, MasterCard is committed to the responsible use of information and pledges strong privacy protection for the transaction data the company processes. Its information management practices support the company's mission to make payments safe, simple and smart. For more information, go to www.mastercardadvisors.comSOURCE: MasterCard CanadaFor further information: MasterCard Canada, Media Relations   Sebastian Gatica, sgatica@environicspr.com 416-969-2768