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ShopperTrak Reports Positive Response to Early Holiday Promotions Boos...

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ShopperTrak Reports Positive Response to Early Holiday Promotions Boosts Projections for 2010 Holiday Season

Revised Seasonal Retail Sales Expected to Increase 3.2 Percent; Total U.S. Foot Traffic to Rise 1.0 Percent

 

 

  

CHICAGO – November 16, 2010 – Better than expected response to early sales promotions mixed with relatively mild weather throughout the country is already driving holiday traffic to malls and retail outlets, allowing ShopperTrak to revise its 2010 holiday forecast.  According to the company’s Retail Sales Estimate (NRSE), sales during the upcoming holiday shopping season (Nov. / Dec.) are now expected to increase 3.2 percent versus last year (up from the 2.9 percent originally anticipated), while the company’s Retail Traffic Index (SRTI) is forecasting a 1.0 percent traffic increase for the same period (a substantial rise from the previously expected 0.1 percent decline).
 
ShopperTrak reports that over the last six weeks (Oct. 3 - Nov. 13)shopper traffic has increased 3.2 percent compared to the same period last year as earlier sales and promotions prompted consumers to visit various retail locations and spend. Additionally, retailers received a rather unexpected lift from Veteran’s Day – which accounted for a 10 percent rise in enclosed malls compared to 2009 – helping boost overall traffic performance early in the holiday season. 
 
During the 2009 holiday shopping season, retail sales posted a 0.4 percent decline, while total U.S. foot traffic fell 3.4 percent as compared to 2008. In 2008, sales and foot traffic declined a sharp 5.5 and 15.4 percent respectively compared to 2007 as the country’s financial collapse strongly influenced the season’s performance. This year, ShopperTrak’s NRSE and SRTI indices are now forecasting a 1.1 percent total U.S. foot traffic increase and a 3.1 percent retail sales rise in November. In December, the company anticipates a 1.0 percent traffic rise with a 3.2 percent retail sales increase. 
 

U.S. Commerce Department GAFO Sales Data and
ShopperTrak NRSE GAFO Sales and Traffic Forecasts
Calendar Month Growth Rates
(NOT seasonally adjusted)
Year
November
December
Average
2008*
-4.6%
-6.4%
-5.5%
2009*
-1.9%
1.2%
-0.4%
2010 NRSE GAFO Sales Forecast**
3.1%
3.2%
3.2%
2008 Traffic***
-16.7%
-14.1%
-15.4%
2009 Traffic***
-6.1%
-0.7%
-3.4%
2010 Traffic Forecast***
1.1%
1.0%
1.0%

 
Throughout 2010, ShopperTrak’s data shows consumers have adjusted to economic conditions by making fewer trips to malls and retail outlets and spending more during each visit. Over the last 10 months, shoppers have visited an average of 3.32 stores per shopping trip, down from 3.43 in 2009, and well down from between 4.0 and 5.0 stores visited prior to the recession in 2006, 2007 and early 2008. ShopperTrak expects this trend will continue as deal driven shoppers arrange retail visits around the most appealing deals and promotions this holiday shopping period.
 
Additionally, the company’s historical data shows the American shopper has become more frugal and “deal sensitive” as outlet store foot traffic has outperformed regular store traffic. On a weekly basis in 2010, regular stores have averaged a decline in traffic of 2.8 percent compared to the same weeks in 2009. However, outlet stores have averaged a gain in traffic of 2.5 percent compared to the same weeks in 2009. 
 
“Despite various economic pressures, consumers have remained resilient and found a way to spend throughout 2010, although not at the level retailers experienced prior to the depths of the recession,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak. “Although we are predicting a nearly three percent sales rise this season, any small increase has to be seen as relative at this point.” Martin continued: “Winning retailers will effectively entice today’s more spendthrift consumer this holiday season by creating more events to raise foot traffic and by offering various sales to maximize the shoppers spend during each visit.”
 
In analyzing the top performing traffic and sales days of the holiday shopping season since 2003, ShopperTrak predicts Black Friday (Nov. 26), Thursday, Dec. 23 and Super Saturday, or the Saturday before Christmas, (Dec. 18) will be the strongest sales days. The company also reports Black Friday will post the strongest daily foot traffic, followed by Super Saturday and Saturday, December 11. Listed below are the top three sales and traffic days since 2006: 
 

Top Three Sales Days (November/December) – NRSE GAFO Retail Sales Estimates
2006
2007
2008
2009
Black Friday, 11/24/06
Black Friday, 11/23/07
Black Friday, 11/28/08
Black Friday, 11/27/09
Super Saturday, 12/23/06
Super Saturday, 12/22/07
Super Saturday, 12/20/08
Wednesday, 12/23/09
Saturday, 12/16/06
Saturday, 12/15/07
Friday, 12/26/08
Saturday, 12/26/08

 
 

Top Three Traffic Days(November/December) – SRTI Total US Traffic Index
2006
2007
2008
2009
Black Friday, 11/24/06
Black Friday, 11/23/07
Black Friday, 11/28/08
Black Friday, 11/27/09
Super Saturday, 12/23/06
Super Saturday, 12/22/07
Friday, 12/26/08
Saturday, 12/26/09
Saturday, 12/16/06
Saturday, 12/15/07
Super Saturday, 12/20/08
Super Saturday, 12/19/08

 
Interestingly, the 2010 calendar shift could strongly influence season performance this year as Christmas falls on a Saturday, meaning retailers lose a critical selling period late in the season. Conversely, the annually strong day after Christmas (Dec. 26) now falls on a Sunday which history suggests will attract bigger sales and more customers than the regular Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s. Comparing to 2004 – a holiday season with the same calendar effect as 2010 – traffic on Sunday, Dec. 26, 2004 increased a staggering 65 percent versus levels on Sunday, Dec. 27 last year, pointing to potentially robust day for the retail industry.
 
“Although retailers are losing a Saturday this year, the day after Christmas provides an enormous selling opportunity and retailers who plan promotions and store operations wisely on this day will undoubtedly have a leg up this season,” said Martin.
 
For ShopperTrak’s weekly 2010 sales and traffic analysis, please visit ShopperTrak’s newly designed Website, www.shoppertrak.com
 
Developed by ShopperTrak, 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.
 
The ShopperTrak Retail Traffic Index™ measures traffic across five separate retail segments including total U.S. retailing. Available as a database or in newsletter format, SRTI reports national and regional traffic trends in a rolling 16 month trend line.
 
A privately held entity, ShopperTrak leverages 20 years of retail expertise to be the industry's authority for information and analysis of the movement of shoppers in retail environments. ShopperTrak's cutting-edge shopper tracking products and indices offer retail intelligence solutions that enable companies to better understand retail trends and the impact of store and staff performance on company revenues. With more than 70,000 units installed in the world's best known retail outlets and malls, the company's solutions also provide a proven means for retailers to gauge labor efficiencies, advertising and marketing efforts, store design and remodeling programs, merchandise changes, associate training programs, and other budget-intensive strategic initiatives. For more information visit http://www.shoppertrak.com.
 
EDITOR'S NOTE: The data contained within this news release is the property of ShopperTrak RCT Corporation and may be reprinted, published or broadcast, provided proper credit is given to the National Retail Sales Estimate (NRSE), the ShopperTrak Retail Traffic Index and ShopperTrak RCT Corporation as the supplier of the information. Please contact Aaron Martin at 312-943-9100 if you have any questions concerning the use of this data.