Chicago ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate Wednesday reported that year-over-year GAFO retail sales declined 5.4% for the week ending Aug. 15 while sales increased a slight 0.9% versus the previous week ending Aug. 8.
The critical back-to-school shopping has yet to provide a boost for retailers as year-over-year sales declined for the 27th week so far in 2009. And while the 0.9% GAFO retail sales week-over-week increase seems encouraging in light of current economic conditions, continued slight sales rises like this won’t translate into a successful season. ShopperTrak predicted a 10% total U.S. foot traffic and 5.9% retail sales decline for back-to-school 2009.
“Looking at the weekly numbers, it is quite possible that the Cash for Clunkers program siphoned off some dollars that otherwise might have been spent on back-to-school items,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak. “That being said, current monthly performance is right in line with what we anticipated, as consumers continue to watch their spending and shop for deals.”