Chicago ShopperTrak reported that foot traffic and sales declines experienced by retailers in the first half of the third quarter will continue through the end of September.
According to the company’s Retail Traffic Index, total U.S. foot traffic will drop 9.7% while the company’s National Retail Sales Estimate is forecasting a 4.4% retail sales drop for the three-month period.
This follows an 11.5% decline in traffic and 4.3% sales drop for the second quarter. This is compared to 13.0% and 2.4% declines in traffic and sales, respectively, that the company originally anticipated heading into the second quarter.
These declines come despite the fact that third-quarter numbers include the traditionally strong back-to-school shopping period. However, ShopperTrak’s data indicates that consumers will continue their pattern of reducing both store visits and total spending during the critical buying season.
The retail traffic measurement firm anticipates that traffic and sales will decline 10.0% and 5.9% respectively during the back-to-school season (month of August), continuing the 9.7% and 5.7% declines experienced in July. According to Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak, back-to-school sales will also be dampened because Labor Day weekend falls on Sept. 7 this year.