Brick and Mortar Traffic Off Sharply Week Before Christmas

Last week was the last chance for procrastinators to finish last-minute holiday shopping, but the weather prevented many from getting to the stores. ShopperTrak, which analyzes brick and mortar traffic, reported that for the week of Dec. 16 to Dec. 22, in-store retail sales decreased by 3.1 percent from the same week last year. Retail brick-and-mortar shopper traffic decreased by 21.2 percent compared to the same time period in 2012.

The analysis tracked sales of General merchandise, Apparel, Furniture and Other products (GAFO).

“Bad weather throughout the country kept some shoppers away from stores,” said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak founder. “This past week was their final opportunity to complete their holiday shopping before Christmas – and though many did finish making their purchases, retailers did not see as many shoppers as last year.”

Despite more markdowns and promotional efforts from retailers, “Super Saturday” (Dec. 21) saw a decrease in retail sales by 0.7 percent compared to 2012. In-store shopper traffic decreased 18.1 percent from the same day last year. ShopperTrak predicts after-holiday markdowns to drive robust retail sales and store traffic days to come, particularly the day after Christmas (Dec. 26) and the following Saturday (Dec. 28).

“Many people who have the day after Christmas off of work will be out shopping for end-of-season deals,” said Martin. “Retailers should track their stores’ conversion rates closely to turn more after-Christmas browsers into buyers.”