Chicago Year-over-year GAFO (general merchandise, apparel, furniture, sporting goods, electronics, hobby, books and other related store sales) retail sales increased 5.4% for the week ending Aug. 28, while sales slipped 4.6% versus the previous week ending Aug. 21, according to ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate.
As expected, week-over-week sales continued to fall as the annually strong back-to-school shopping season essentially came to a close last week. ShopperTrak expects traffic fared slightly better than then 1.4% decline the company anticipated in late July, while sales are currently in line with the 3.5% increase originally predicted. Final back-to-school data will be released Sept. 7.
Looking at the year-over-year picture, ShopperTrak’s data shows GAFO retail sales continue to perform well versus last year when retailers were mired in the economic downturn. To date, yearly sales have increased 29 out of 34 possible weeks so far in 2010.
“Retail sales are following the same basic script we see every year in August, which is a strong showing the first two weeks of the month followed by declining performance as the month comes to a close and most shoppers have completed their back-to-school spending,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak. “Sales will most likely pick back up later this week behind Labor Day promotions and this should continue into next week as the extra day off on Monday will boost both traffic and sales.”