Positive Increases from Holiday Shopping
According to ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate, year-over-year retail sales rose 4 percent for the 2010 holiday shopping season (November/December), surpassing early holiday forecasting. On the flip side, U.S. foot traffic fell below expectations as shoppers continue to spend more at a given store with fewer visits.
With very early holiday sales and promotions, the first two weeks of November increased 6.1 percent versus last year, while total U.S. foot traffic increased 6.2 percent, reports ShopperTrak. By comparison, sales and traffic during November 2009 versus 2008 decreased 1.9 percent and 6.1 percent.
In December, retailers felt the wrath of Mother Nature as the headlining blizzard along the East Coast wiped out shopping and delayed nearly $1 billion in sales on Dec. 26 and Dec. 27. ShopperTrak’s data shows overall monthly sales increased 2.6 percent compared with last year, while traffic declined 2.6 percent.
“Although early November door buster sales and promotions had been planned months in advance, the dramatic response, which quite possibly saved the season, was a very welcome surprise,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak. “Although we’re still essentially comparing to depressed levels, the four percent sales rise this season is the first real positivity in two years and should be seen as a relatively encouraging sign for retailers heading into 2011.”
The NRSE provides a nationwide benchmark of retail sales. It is derived from the U.S. Commerce Department’s GAFO (general merchandise, apparel, furniture, sporting goods, electronics, hobby, books and other related store sales) statistic, as well as ShopperTrak proprietary industry intelligence on shopper movement and sales statistics.
For more from ShopperTrak’s Retail Traffic Index, click here.