Stores were tops for procrastinating, post-holiday shoppers

BY Dan Berthiaume

While overall holiday traffic to brick-and-mortar stores was down, last-minute and post-Christmas shoppers boosted seasonal totals.

Retail analytics solution provider ShopperTrak, a Tyco Retail Solutions brand, found that overall, total holiday traffic from Nov.18-Dec. 29 was down 3% year-over-year. This decline was favorable compared to the full-year traffic trend pre-holiday, which was down 3.8%.

However, end of December traffic was successful for brick-and-mortar retailers. Dec. 22, also known as Super Saturday, surpassed traffic numbers with a 2.3% increase compared to 2017. Additionally, the combined three days leading up to Christmas Day (Saturday, Dec. 22 through Monday, Dec. 24) resulted in a 3.8% increase in store traffic compared to the prior-year period. Finally, the last 10 days of the total shopping season, Dec. 20-29, increased by 0.3% year-over-year.

“While holiday traffic was down overall, the fact that Christmas Day came on a Tuesday, rather than a Monday, played a pivotal role in creating more last-minute shopping activity,” said Brian Field, senior director of global retail consulting for ShopperTrak. “This year, retailers promoted extended shopping hours for the entire weekend in-store, helping attract more late shoppers and increase brick-and-mortar activity right before the holiday and continuing through the end of December.”

The 10 busiest shopping days, which accounted for 40% of all seasonal brick-and-mortar traffic, for physical stores during the 2018 holiday season were:

1. Friday, Nov. 23 – Black Friday
2. Saturday, Dec. 22 – Super Saturday
3. Saturday, Dec. 15
4. Sunday, Dec. 23
5. Saturday, Nov. 24
6. Saturday, Dec. 8
7. Friday, Dec. 21
8. Wednesday, Dec. 26
9. Saturday, Dec. 29
10. Saturday, Dec. 1


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