CHICAGO, Dec. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers spent a majority of last week recovering from "Black Weekend" holiday shopping. ShopperTrak – the world's largest provider of retail shopper analytics – reported that for the week of Dec. 2 to Dec. 8, GAFO* brick-and-mortar retail sales decreased 2.9 percent compared to the same time last year. Last week's retail shopper traffic decreased 21.6 percent compared to the same time period in 2012.
Shopping activity for the week ending Dec. 8 returned to expected seasonal levels following the previous week, which contained a surge of in-store activity across Thanksgiving Day and Black Weekend. "Cyber Monday" (Dec. 2) started the week with a focus on online shopping, causing many retailers to offer in-store promotions intended to entice customers to complete their holiday shopping early in December in their stores.
"Shoppers usually take a brief break in the week after Black Weekend," said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak founder. "Lighter crowds and many in-store deals, however, helped Saturday, Dec. 7 see a 1.4 percent sales increase compared to the same day in 2012."
Despite the encouraging uptick in sales on Saturday, calendar changes in 2013 contributed to the past week's overall declines in retail sales and traffic. Hanukkah began on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 28) – 11 days earlier than last year. So, consumers completed their pre-Hanukkah shopping in November rather than early December, as they did in 2012.
"The movement of Hanukkah into November caused some inevitable declines in sales and traffic in the first week of December," said Martin. "However, with the shortened Christmas shopping season now in full swing, shoppers can't procrastinate like they did last year. As we approach the holiday, we expect that shopper activity will increase each week."
*General merchandise, apparel, furniture and other products (GAFO)
ShopperTrak is the leading global provider of shopper insights and analytics to improve retail profitability and effectiveness. Retailers rely on ShopperTrak for the most comprehensive and integrated solution for accurate retail store traffic counting, interior analytics and industry benchmarking to better understand in-store shopper behavior. More than 750 of the world's leading retail brands have ShopperTrak services deployed in over 60,000 locations across 90 countries and territories. The Chicago-based company has more than 200 employees, with offices in San Francisco; High Wycombe, England; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Shenzhen, China; and Helsinki, Finland. Find out more at http://www.shoppertrak.com.