Chicago -- A report released Tuesday by ShopperTrak revealed that December holiday sales remain flat year-over-year but are showing signs of growth in the days and weeks ahead. Double-digit increases in week-over-week sales show shoppers are spending this holiday season.
According to ShopperTrak, the week ending Dec. 10 saw a 10.6% increase in retail sales from the previous week, good tidings as retailers prepare for historically two of the highest GAFO sales weeks of the year for retailers.
Year-over-year comparisons, however, show retail sales decreased 1.9% versus the same week in 2010. The year-over-year loss followed a 0.2% year-over-year increase during the week ending Dec. 3, and does not indicate an ongoing trend for the holiday season, said ShopperTrak.
The decline may be weather-related, as warm temperatures across the nation kept seasonal winter merchandise on the shelves, the report said.
ShopperTrak’s holiday forecast, released earlier this year, of a moderate 3% year-over-year sales increase throughout the entire November – December holiday season was conservative. November GAFO estimates show sales rose 4.1% year-over-year, indicating even greater numbers may be coming in December.
“Last week’s strong week-over-week retail sales increase is an indication of things to come,” said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak founder. “Retailers will see sales increases all the way up to Christmas Day and the end of Hanukkah. As these important days get closer, shoppers will concentrate on completing their holiday shopping and year-over-year losses will be wiped out.”
Weekend sales were up, as both Saturday (Dec. 10) and Sunday (Dec. 11) showed year-over-year gains and consumers spent an estimated $14.76 billion. ShopperTrak expects this weekend’s retail sales to perform even better as it includes “Super Saturday,” the last Saturday with normal store hours before Christmas. Martin also noted that six of the top 10 shopping days of the holiday season are still to come, pointing to Dec. 17, Dec. 18, Dec. 19, Dec. 22, Dec. 23 and Dec. 26.
“There is still a lot of holiday shopping left,” said Martin. “Retailers who accurately monitor daily foot-traffic and make appropriate staffing and inventory adjustments to assist the season’s focused, value-driven buyers will succeed.”