ShopperTrak: September 2012

Total U.S. shopper traffic in retail stores and malls for September 2012

The end of back-to-school shopping in the U.S. led to a significant drop in foot traffic this past month. September saw a 13.1% decrease in retail foot traffic compared to August. However, this past month continued a streak of year-over-year improvements. September 2012 foot traffic increased 12.9% when compared with the same month last year.

Back-to-school time is the second-largest shopping season of the year. The promotions to buy new gear and apparel for the kids drew shoppers to stores and malls over the long Labor Day weekend. However, once the sales ended in early September, shoppers cooled down their purchasing for a bit.

Retail traffic revived again thanks to release of the iPhone 5. Beginning Sept. 21, the latest iteration of Apple's flagship product led shoppers to malls and electronics stores in droves. Foot traffic in electronics stores has seen a general decline due to a movement toward online comparison and shopping. The iPhone 5 release demonstrates big events still compel shoppers to visit brick-and-mortar stores to (literally) get their hands on the new product.

Looking forward to the last quarter of the year, ShopperTrak predicts that national retail sales, when compared to the same period in 2011, will rise 3.3% during the holiday season (the months of November and December). Also, retail foot traffic will increase 2.8% during that time. In October, the month leading up to the holiday season, ShopperTrak expects a slow but continually improving economy will positively affect year-over-year foot traffic.

ShopperTrak's data and analyses in this article are based on counting billions of shoppers in more than 50,000 locations across 74 countries. ShopperTrak is a leading retail technology company that anonymously counts people, analyzes data and identifies opportunities to increase revenue for retailers, mall developers and entertainment venues.  Find out more at


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