Chicago ShopperTrak RCT Corp.’s Retail Traffic Index (SRTI) reported that total U.S. foot traffic for the month of November fell 6.1%, while the company’s National Retail Sales Estimate (NRSE) reported retail sales slipped a very slight 0.1% for the same period.
Although total U.S. foot traffic levels had been steadily improving since July, with October’s 3.0% decline representing the smallest year-over-year decline in over a year, November foot traffic fell more than 6.0% versus the same period last year. ShopperTrak also reported November traffic increased an expected 12.5% versus October as holiday shopping began.
“Our data suggests smart consumers held off visits to various retail locations early in the month, then very economically planned trips to specific stores later in the month during Black Friday weekend to take advantage of door buster sales and other holiday promotions,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak.
ShopperTrak’s NRSE showed retail sales were essentially flat in November as compared to last year as once again consumers visited retail locations less, but spent more during each visit -- a pattern the industry saw throughout the 2008 holiday season and one that could be the new normal for holiday shopping moving forward.
On a weekly level, ShopperTrak’s NRSE reported sales for the week ending Dec. 5 fell 0.3% as compared with last year, while weekly sales decreased 18.0% versus the previous seven-day period ending Nov. 28 as the Black Friday hangover materialized.