Chicago The National Retail Sales Estimate released Wednesday by ShopperTrak RCT Corp. reported that total GAFO retail sales for the month of January increased 2.0% while the company’s Retail Traffic Index reported total U.S. foot traffic was flat for the same period as compared with last year.
Momentum from the holiday spending rush in late December continued to influence both sales and traffic in early January, according to the NRSE, as consumers took advantage of the 2010 calendar shift that allowed some extra shopping time between Christmas and New Year’s to spend.
According to ShopperTrak, gift card redemptions and post-holiday sales and promotions also boosted sales and traffic throughout the first half of January.
“It seems the inclement weather during the weekend leading up to Christmas ultimately helped extend the season as retailers were still seeing strong shopping patterns in late December and throughout the first several days of January ,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak. “Although positive performance is typically the norm in early January as gift cards have effectively lengthened the holiday shopping season, our data shows pent up demand and a willingness to spend continued beyond gift card redemptions early in the month.”
Martin continued: “While this is a relatively encouraging start to 2010, retail performance will most likely remain slow to average until May when Mother’s Day shopping kicks in and retailers prepare for back to school and the 2010 holiday shopping season.”
On a weekly level, ShopperTrak’s NRSE reported sales for the week ending Feb. 6 increased 1.3% as compared with last year, while weekly sales rose 4.0% versus the previous seven-day period ending Jan. 30.