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ShopperTrak: Retail sales, traffic increased week-over-week

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Chicago — A report issued Thursday by ShopperTrak found that last-minute shopping activity drove large increases in both retail sales and foot traffic last week.

ShopperTrak reported that for the week ending Dec. 22, sales increased 39.1% and traffic increased 32% compared to the previous week.

Compared to the same week last year, however, retail sales declined 2.5% and foot traffic declined 3.3%.

"This final week of shopping before Christmas finished strong," said ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin. "Procrastinators finally headed to the stores and helped several days of this past week secure places as the best-performing retail days of the year."

"Super Saturday," Dec. 22, was the second-busiest retail sales and foot traffic day of the year, behind Black Friday (Nov. 23). Additionally, Friday, Dec. 21, was the fourth-busiest sales and traffic day.

ShopperTrak forecasts that Wednesday, Dec. 26, will be the fifth-best retail foot traffic day and the seventh-best sales day of the year.

"Shopping on the day after Christmas won’t be as strong this year," said Martin. "Last year, Dec. 26 fell on a Monday. Many people had the day off, which they spent shopping. This year, the day after Christmas was a Wednesday – many people were back at work, not out in stores."

ShopperTrak will release its retail sales and foot traffic numbers for the week ending Dec. 29 as part of its holiday wrap-up news on Jan. 8.

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NRF: Holiday sales won’t be as bad as feared

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — The National Retail Federation on Wednesday was quick to shine a more positive light on holiday sales 2012, suggesting that reports of the worst holiday results since 2008 are not correct.

Matthew Shay, president of the NRF, said he’s still predicting a 4.1% increase. "We’re still pretty optimistic it’s going to be a solid year," Shay said Wednesday on CNBC’s "Squawk on the Street." "We’re still going to have year-over-year growth" of 4.1%. But that is down from 5.6% growth last year.

The MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, which tracks holiday spending, said Tuesday that sales in the two months before Christmas increased 0.7%, compared to last year. Many analysts had expected holiday sales to grow 3% to 4%. Shay, however, said that the MasterCard survey is limited and doesn’t cover online sales.

Despite the continued optimism, Shay acknowledged that consumer confidence had weakened heading into the holidays following super storm Sandy and the ongoing debate about the "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and spending cuts that could go into effect early next year.

"We’ve been saying from the beginning this is a cautious and careful consumer, and it wouldn’t take much to knock us off this nice progression," of consumer spending, Shay said.

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J.Bolt says:
Jan-03-2013 06:28 am

People do purchase in holidays and more if its Christmas and New Year round the corner what ever may the economic condition may be.Sales wont be that bad as expected due to recession. _________________________________________________ olive leaf extract

J.Bolt says:
Jan-03-2013 06:28 am

People do purchase in holidays and more if its Christmas and New Year round the corner what ever may the economic condition may be.Sales wont be that bad as expected due to recession. _________________________________________________ olive leaf extract

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Consumer confidence tumbles in December

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — A report issued Thursday by the Conference Board said that its consumer confidence index fell sharply in December to 65.1 from 75.1 in November, impacted by fears of tax increases and impending government spending cuts.

The fall in confidence is the second straight decline and the lowest level since August.

The survey showed that consumers are slightly more optimistic about current business conditions and hiring. But their outlook for the next six months deteriorated to its lowest level since 2011.

Lynn Franco, the board’s director of economic indicators, said the decline in expectations for the next six months is a signal that consumers are worried about the "fiscal cliff.”

A separate survey released earlier by the University of Michigan showed consumer confidence fell in December to a five-month low.
The December drop in confidence "is obvious confirmation that a sudden and serious deterioration in hopes for the future took place in December — presumably reflecting concern about imminent ‘fiscal cliff’ tax increases," Pierre Ellis, economist with Decision Economics, wrote in a note to clients.

The Conference Board index has risen from an all-time low of 25.3 touched in February 2009. It remains well below the level of 90 that is consistent with a healthy economy. It last reached that point in December 2007.

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