Chicago The latest ShopperTrak report, issued Tuesday, showed that year-over-year GAFO retail sales declined 4.2% for the week ending Aug. 22.
Sales, however, increased 1.2% versus the previous week ending Aug. 15.
Although year-over-year GAFO sales continued to decline, week-over-week sales continued showing small increases during the back-to-school shopping season, with the week ending Aug. 22 providing the largest weekly increase so far during the period, according to ShopperTrak.
Despite these slight increases, back-to-school performance is currently in line with the 10% total U.S. foot traffic and 5.9% retail sales declines anticipated heading into the season, according to the report.
Looking ahead, ShopperTrak said it does not expect the next two weeks to outperform the week ending Aug. 22 as Labor Day 2009 falls a full seven days later (Sept. 7, 2009 versus Sept. 1, 2008) when most students are back in school -- negatively impacting both Labor Day weekend and Labor Day weekly sales.
“Because of the late holiday, year-over-year comparisons for the next two to three weeks will be subject to this calendar effect,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak. “However, we will be watching the week-over-week sales numbers to see if the small increases we’ve been seeing can sustain themselves in September.”