(Reuters) – U.S. retail sales rose 8.5% during this year’s holiday shopping season from Nov. 1 to Dec 24, a report by Mastercard Inc said on Sunday, powered by a rush to stores amid supply chain concerns as COVID-19 cases surge as well as soaring ecommerce sales.

U.S. ecommerce sales jumped 11% in this year’s holiday shopping season, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse report, yet again underscoring the COVID-19 pandemic’s role in transforming customers’ shopping habits.

Holiday e-commerce sales made up 20.9% of total retail sales this year, the data showed, noting that the sector continues to see growth as consumers enjoy the ease of browsing and buying in the comfort of their homes.

“Shoppers were eager to secure their gifts ahead of the retail rush, with conversations surrounding supply chain and labor supply issues sending consumers online and to stores in droves,” senior advisor for Mastercard Steve Sadove said in a statement.

Sectors such as jewelry and electronics continued to post growth as a reduction in spending on dining out, travel and leisure encouraged shoppers to make other purchases. Jewelry sales jumped 32% from 2020 and sales of electronics were up 16.2%, the report said.

The SpendingPulse report tracks spending by combining sales activity in Mastercard’s payments network with estimates of cash and other payment forms but excludes automobile sales.

(Reporting by Akriti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Porter)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.