Chicago -- Year-over-year retail sales increased 6.5% for the week ending Jan. 1, according to ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate, while the company’s Retail Traffic Index (SRTI) reported foot traffic rose 4.1% for the same period.
Although both sales and traffic increased last week, ShopperTrak originally anticipated a more robust performance for the week ending Jan. 1 as the 2010 calendar shift placed Dec. 26 -- a day that ranked third and second in 2009 holiday sales and traffic respectively -- a week later, creating a favorable yearly comparison. Unfortunately, the blizzard along the Eastern seaboard that delivered record snow amounts crippled retail on Dec. 26 and Dec. 27 in all impacted areas, eliminating the strong boost retailers should have seen early last week.
“It seems Mother Nature has impacted a very important selling day for retailers for the second holiday season in a row, moving a day that typically finishes second or third in sales to one that might finish outside of the Top 10 this year,” said Bill Martin, founder of ShopperTrak. “Although sales and traffic levels picked up in the Northeast region later in the week, retailers weren’t able to recover all of the $1 billion that was postponed by losing Dec. 26 and 27.”
Martin said he expected there will be some continued momentum this week and into the weekend, which should extend the holiday season and help recover a majority of the delayed shopping.
ShopperTrak data shows because of the blizzard December retail performance will most likely fall below anticipated levels. But based on the unexpected early strength in November, the company still believes its 4.0% sales rise with a 1.8% traffic bump remains accurate.
Developed by ShopperTrak, the NRSE provides a nationwide benchmark of retail sales. It is derived from the U.S. Commerce Department's GAFO (general merchandise, apparel, furniture, sporting goods, electronics, hobby, books and other related store sales) statistic, as well as ShopperTrak proprietary industry intelligence on shopper movement and sales statistics.
The ShopperTrak Retail Traffic Index measures traffic across five separate retail segments, including total U.S. retailing.