Chicago ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate reported Tuesday that year-over-year GAFO (general merchandise, apparel, furniture, sporting goods, electronics, hobby, books and other related store sales) retail sales increased 0.9% for the week ending Nov. 21.
Sales edged up 0.2% versus the previous week ending Nov. 14.
GAFO retail sales posted a minimal gain as the previous week contained the Veteran’s Day holiday which allowed consumers an extra day to spend -- providing a rather difficult comparison. ShopperTrak noted that in many years the week following Veteran’s Day shows retail sales declines, so even a slight increase could be a good sign for the retail industry heading into Thanksgiving week and Black Friday -- the anticipated top-performing traffic and sales day this holiday season.
“The minimal sales increase we saw last week seems encouraging as retailers prepare for the annual Black Friday rush,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak. “Although a good handful of retailers will be open on Thanksgiving Day this year, we don’t anticipate this will dilute the strength of Black Friday which will once again receive a huge boost behind early door buster sales and promotions.”
Martin continued: “Based on historical data, we expect Black Friday will start off very strong, then traffic and sales levels should taper off as the day progresses and smart consumers have already indentified and purchased various promotional items they ventured out early to find.”