Industry estimates show that electronics sellers and online merchants thrived in November, particularly at the start of the holiday shopping season.
But the numbers also indicate that sales of clothing and luxury items -- except for jewelry -- were weak. Jewelry was the good news, with MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse sales figures showing the sector rising 4.6 percent in November.
Overall, the SpendingPulse analysis finds that November sales proved to be a "mixed bag."
The results raise some worries that some sectors could face tough going in the critical countdown to Christmas, as frugal Americans grapple with job insecurity and tight credit.
Fat discounts apparently drove shoppers to stores and online over Thanksgiving weekend. An analyst is predicting they won't come back until the season's final hours when bargains are even better.
Meanwhile, the International Council of Shopping Centers is trimming its November sales growth forecast. The group cites more shoppers who say they're putting off holiday shopping compared with a year ago.
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Holiday shopper with purchases from Target store, Mayfield Heights, Ohio, on texture with HOLIDAY SHOPPING lettering, finished graphic