Chicago ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate reported that retail sales for the week ending Jan. 24 declined 4.1%, as compared to the same period 2008. Meanwhile, week-over-week sales rose a strong 10.5%.
The report said that although the current state of the economy continues to slow year-over-year consumer spending, weekly sales showed a relatively significant increase as shoppers took advantage of the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend to shop.
Additionally, the excitement of President Obama’s inauguration may have briefly instilled consumer confidence last week, which positively impacted retail performance, the report said.
“While retailers were pleased to see the positive weekly sales performance, continued negative economic conditions and analyst reports regarding difficult times for the industry throughout 2009 will weigh heavily on shopper’s minds as they make the decision to spend over the next few weeks,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak. “At this point, our data suggests our first-quarter forecast of a 4.0% retail sales drop with a 16.4% total U.S. foot traffic decline is right in line with the current state of the retail industry.”