Euclid: August sales indicate strong back-to-school season

San Francisco – August 2014 sales results indicate the 2014 back-to-school period had a significant boost to shopping activity. According to new data from in-store retail analytics provider Euclid, traffic increased substantially compared to the previous month, aided by temperate weather and multi-year highs in consumer confidence.

In addition, healthy economic conditions and generous promotions benefitted shopping and contributed to highly engaged visits to the brick-and-mortar store. Euclid asserts that its metrics illustrate a positive outlook for industry revenues, and estimates year-over-year sales growth of 4% in general merchandise, apparel, furniture and other (GAFO) retail sales, 5% growth year-over-year in clothing and apparel sales, and 3% growth year-over-year in general merchandise sales.

Here are some of Euclid’s top findings in the August report around shopper behavior metrics:

  • Shopper traffic declined 3% compared to the same month in 2013, but rose 7% compared to July. Back-to-school shopping brought many consumers back to the brick-and-mortar store.  
  • Storefront conversion was up 2% year-over-year due to highly targeted shopping and deal hunting.
  • Average duration increased 13% from last year. Consumers are feeling the benefits of rising asset prices and improving labor market conditions, and as a result retailers saw more engaged shoppers who are willing to spend.
  • Repeat visits decreased 1% year-over-year, dropping to a low for the year as consumers accomplished more back-to-school shopping in fewer trips.

The best shopping day of August was Thursday the 28th. Outperformance was experienced across all metrics on the 28th, with especially favorable numbers for duration, engagement, and bounce rate. This day benefited from a surge in activity to prepare for Labor Day weekend. On the other hand, Tuesday the fifth was the worst shopping day of the month. Low traffic coupled with abnormally high bounce rates marked this day and likely led to sales underperformance.

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