Last-minute surge lifts US Holiday retail but womenswear stays weak

“It was a hot start with Cyber Monday, followed by a lull for the last couple of weeks and then a big-bang finish,” said Pete Madden, a director at retail consultancy AlixPartners.

Sales data released on Tuesday showed the major shift in fortunes in late December

Brick-and-mortar sales in the week ending December 24 rose 6.5% year-over-year after having fallen for the rest of the month, according to data from analytics firm RetailNext.

Strong demand for furniture, home furnishings and men’s apparel from the start of November through Christmas Eve pushed retail sales up 4%, higher than the previously expected 3.8%, according to data from MasterCard’s holiday spending report, also released on Tuesday. The report, which tracks spending by…