Chicago ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate reported that year-over-year retail sales increased a solid 9.9% for the week ending April 17, while sales rose 4.7% versus the previous week ending April 10.
As expected, retailers saw large gains last week as both the weekly and yearly comparison was versus the week that contained Easter, a period that is annually slow due to consumers observing the holiday. While April returns have been strong and ShopperTrak expects Mother’s Day to drive May spending, the company said it remains cautious due to the still volatile economy and retail landscape.
“Retail sales should pick up during the first part of May in response to Mother’s Day, then will again rise later in the month for various graduations and Memorial Day,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak. “Although we’ve seen some relative strength over the last couple of months, the fact remains that consumer confidence is fairly low, unemployment rates are still high and the trajectory of economic recovery seems somewhat uncertain -- all of which could still negatively impact retailers over the next few months.”