The time to procrastinate is nearly over for holiday shoppers. ShopperTrak, the world's largest counter and analyzer of retail shopper traffic, reported GAFO — general merchandise, apparel, furniture and other products — in-store retail sales for the week of Dec. 9 to Dec. 15 were down 0.8 percent from the same week last year. Retail in-store shopper traffic also fell last week by 19.9 percent compared to the same time period in 2012.
Saturday, Dec. 14, saw a decline in both retail sales and shopper traffic, largely a result of a weekend snowstorm that hit the Midwest and Northeast. Compared to the same day last year, brick-and-mortar retail sales fell 5.4 percent while in-store shopper traffic fell 25.9 percent.
"Last weekend's extreme weather prevented many consumers from completing their holiday shopping," ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin said. "But those items remain on their shopping lists, and we expect these individuals will add to the high levels of in-store shopper activity we usually see the weekend before Christmas."
ShopperTrak expects that several of the days leading up to Christmas, including "Super Saturday," Dec. 21, will be among the busiest shopping days of the holiday season.
"Only one weekend remains before Christmas for shoppers to check everything off their holiday lists," Martin said. "Shoppers will plan and focus their store visits on getting items they want at the best values. It will be critical for retailers to provide the best experience for shoppers motivated to complete their holiday shopping — by adequately staffing for the surge in traffic and ensuring merchandise is stocked and easily accessible."
Read more about consumer behavior.