FINANCE

Full-season holiday report: Traffic down 16.4%, sales down 3.4%

BY Katherine Boccaccio

San Jose, Calif. — A Friday report by RetailNext said that its analysis of 8.5 million shopping trips to big-box and specialty retailers in the U.S. during the 2011 and 2012 holiday seasons revealed that:

  • The number of shopping visits to stores was down a massive 16.4% from 2011;
  • Retailers made the most of the traffic they got, with conversion up 1.4 basis points and average transaction value (ATV) up 3.7%. These improvements tempered the overall decline, with sales off 3.4% year-over-year in the specialty segment;
  • Saturday, Dec. 22 exceeded Black Friday’s sales volume by 11%, and nearly matched Black Friday’s traffic figures. Black Friday saw year-over-year traffic down 9.2% and conversion off 0.7 points in the specialty segment; an ATV increase of 11.5% offset these weak points so that total sales were down 3.2%.

The report also found that Christmas Eve was off from the previous year, recording a 1.5% reduction in sales on a 12.2% reduction in traffic. But the post-Christmas period from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1 rallied, despite an 8.5% reduction in traffic, to show a healthy 12.7% increase in sales. This increase owes itself to a conversion increase of 1.8 basis points and a 6.7% increase in ATV for the period.

The highest traffic days of the season according to RetailNext were Black Friday, followed by the two Saturdays before Christmas (Dec. 22 and Dec. 15). The days with the highest ATV were Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22), followed by Christmas Day, and the days with the highest conversion rates were Tuesday, Dec. 18, followed by Monday, Dec. 17.

The top five sales days of the season were Saturday, Dec. 22; Black Friday, Nov. 23; Friday, Dec. 21; Saturday, Dec. 15; and Sunday, Dec. 23.

"Retailers cannot underestimate the post-Christmas potential,” said Shelley Kohan, VP retail consulting, RetailNext. "There were important shifts in calendar days this season, which impacted sales and traffic to stores. “As retailers look forward to the 2013 holiday season, the calendar will again play a major role.”

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N.Smith says:
Mar-13-2013 08:12 am

This is not a good news to
This is not a good news to the retailers. Supposedly, the highest peak in the market is during Christmas season, but could it be that the reason behind this negative reports is that the shoppers are making some changes on their expenses. - Scott Sohr

N.Smith says:
Mar-13-2013 08:12 am

This is not a good news to the retailers. Supposedly, the highest peak in the market is during Christmas season, but could it be that the reason behind this negative reports is that the shoppers are making some changes on their expenses. - Scott Sohr

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FINANCE

Finish Line posts unexpected loss in Q3

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Indianapolis — Finish Line Inc. reported Friday a loss of $107,000 for the quarter ended Dec. 1, compared with a profit of $5.55 million in the year-ago period. The unexpected swing, said the company, was due in part to a lukewarm response to Finish Line’s new online store.

Sales in the quarter climbed 5.2% to $296.6 million, missing Wall Street’s expected $296 million in revenue, and same-store sales rose 3.6%.

“The third quarter was clearly more challenging than we anticipated,” said CEO Glenn Lyon. “Sales came in below plan due primarily to a shift within athletic footwear trends and a less than favorable consumer response to the new ecommerce site we launched in mid November.”

The company, said Lyon, has reverted back to its previous e-commerce site. It has lowered its full-year earnings estimate.

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FINANCE

Walgreens December sales fall 4%

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Deerfield, Ill. — Walgreens reported Friday that sales for the month of December dipped 4% to $6.71 billion, from $6.99 billion in the year-ago period.

Total front-end sales fell 1.3% and same-store front-end sales decreased 2.3%.

Total same-store sales fell 6.1% in December.

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