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RetailNext: November store performance shows bright spots

BY Dan Berthiaume

Despite overall declines in several key metrics, there were some good signs for brick-and-mortar retailers during November.

According to the November 2015 Retail Store Performance Pulse report from brick-and-mortar analytics firm RetailNext Inc., sales at physical stores dropped 5.6% year-over-year. However, this was a much smaller decline than the 12.2% recorded in October and the lowest decline in five months. Traffic (down 5.1%) and conversions (down 0.5%) also dropped less than in October, while average transaction value rose 3.2%, slightly less than the 3.8% increase recorded the prior month. Conversions were flat and sales per shopper climbed 2.3%, compared to a 1.1% decrease in October.

In addition, transactions fell 8.3%, the lowest year-over-year decline posted since July. Returns rose 0.1%, on par with preceding few months.

During the five-day period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday (Nov. 26-30), sales fell 4.7% and traffic dropped 5.1%. Conversions dropped 0.5% while average transaction value rose 3.1% and sales per shopper increased 0.3%. Transactions fell 0.7% and returns dipped 0.1%.

“The results for physical retail are generally positive when considering the growing influence of digital shopping, particularly in the mobile channel,” said Shelley E. Kohan, VP of retail consulting at Retail Next. “Over the holiday weekend, there were patterns of strong results for retailers with less effective digital channels, and they outperformed on the brick-and-mortar side of the business. Of course, the flip side was true for brands with strong digital presences and who offered a seamless multichannel experience, and it’s those brands who have a head start into retail’s most important season.”

Excluding Black Friday, which experienced the highest sales, transactions and conversions as expected, Saturday, Nov. 21 had the next highest sales, traffic , ATV, and SPS. According to Retail Next, this demonstrates that shoppers tended to get a head start on their Black Friday shopping the weekend before Thanksgiving.

The lowest sales and traffic days occurred during the first week of November. The Tuesday immediately prior to Thanksgiving experienced the lowest conversion and SPS.

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