Momentum Continues To Slow Down for Smaller Retailers

 PURCHASE, N.Y., and SAN FRANCISCO – [November 14, 2012] – A SpendingPulse™ report released today by MasterCard Advisors, the professional services arm of MasterCard (NYSE:MA)  in partnership with Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), America’s  leading small business lender, found that spending at small retailers in October slowed to an increase of 4.2% year over year, down from a 5.8% growth rate in September. This was the slowest year-over-year growth rate for smaller retailers in 2012, falling below the growth rate of total U.S. retail sales by one percentage point.        

The October report also found that when gasoline sales are removed, the year-over-year sales growth rate dipped to 3.6%.  Michael McNamara, Global Solutions Leader, MasterCard SpendingPulse, said, “This was the first time the small retailer sales year-over-year growth rate has lagged behind overall retail sales growth since September 2011.  However, thanks to the fairly strong performance of smaller retailers for the first nine months of the year, on a year-to-date basis, small retailers continue to outperform overall total retail sales excluding auto.”   

On a year-to-date basis, the sales growth rate excluding auto for small retailers is 7.4% from January through October 2012, compared with a 5.6% growth rate for retail overall during the same time period.

Marc Bernstein, head of Small Business for Wells Fargo added, “The recovery for small businesses has not been strong enough to yield consistent increases in the sales growth rate from month-to-month, yet the overall trend in small retailer sales this year has been one of improvement.”

About MasterCard SpendingPulse for Small Business

Launched in July, 2012, the monthly report MasterCard SpendingPulse for Small Business, looks at retailers with less than $35 million in annual sales and less than 200 employees, a small percentage of which have more than $10 million in annual sales.  Each report includes information about current retail sales (excluding autos and gasoline), year-over-year growth in total retail sales (excluding automotive sales), as well as views with and without food services. In the U.S., small retailers account for over $100 billion in retail sales excluding automobiles per month.

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 estimates for all other payment forms, including cash and check. MasterCard SpendingPulse does not represent MasterCard financial performance. SpendingPulse is provided by MasterCard Advisors, the professional services arm of MasterCard Worldwide 

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.4 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (, and has offices in more than 35 countries to support the bank’s customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 full-time equivalent team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2012 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.

Wells Fargo loans more money to America’s small businesses than any other bank (2002-2011 Community Reinvestment Act government data) and is a leading lender to women- and diverse-owned businesses. Wells Fargo provides a wide range of financial solutions to meet the needs of business owners nationwide. Through the Wells Fargo Business Insight Resource Center, business owners can access an informative selection of videos and articles featuring expert advice and best practices. For more information visit or call the National Business Banking Center at 1-800-CALL-WELLS.

About MasterCard Advisors

As 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

About MasterCard

MasterCard (NYSE: MA),, 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.

Media Contacts:

For MasterCard:

Meir Kahtan

Meir Kahtan Public Relations, LLC

+1 212-575-8188

For Wells Fargo:

Jim Seitz