A shortened holiday shopping calendar favored electronic platforms over stores, preliminary data suggest, with much of the growth in sales coming from a surge in online orders that taxed the delivery system.

Total U.S. retail sales, excluding automobiles, rose 3.4% from Nov. 1 through Christmas Eve compared with last year, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks both online and in-store spending with all forms of payment.

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