Euclid: March retail performance lags year-over-year

BY Dan Berthiaume

Santa Barbara, Calif. – Shopper activity rebounded in March 2014 from the prior month, but traffic and engagement lagged compared to March 2013. In-store retail analytics provider Euclid, released its monthly retail benchmarks report to analyze shopper activity and behavior during the month of March, measuring data from tens of millions of domestic shopping sessions.

Based on the findings, Euclid asserts that these metrics illustrate a weak outlook for industry revenues, estimating general merchandise, apparel, furniture and other (GAFO) retail sales grew by 0.2% year-over-year. Overall, shopper traffic and repeat visits remained below the prior year’s levels as bad weather remained a challenge for much of the country. In addition, in-store engagement was weaker than last year as a result of Easter falling deeper into April.

Here are some of Euclid’s top findings in its March 2014 report around shopper behavior metrics:

• Shopper traffic declined 1% compared to the same month last year, as visits were negatively impacted by continued cold weather on the East Coast, although this headwind was slightly mitigated by bouts of warmer than usual weather on the West Coast and an acceleration of tax refunds in March.

• Storefront conversion was up 1% as a result of improved weather, an increase in disposable income, and the continuation of a heavily promotional environment.

• Average duration decreased 3% from 2014 as the late Easter caused many shoppers to have less intent to browse heavily during their store visits in March.

• Repeat visits increased 1% from February, bouncing back after the prior month’s dip as a result of pent-up demand carrying extra visits over into March.

The best day of the month was Wednesday, March 5, with some of March’s best customer engagement performance as well as a strong storefront conversion. This day also attracted the highest percentage of valuable repeat shoppers during the month. The worst day of the month was March 13, which saw underperformance across all metrics, but most notably traffic and average duration.


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