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Holiday Season Retail Sales to Perform Better Than Projected

—ShopperTrak raises holiday retail sales forecast—

CHICAGO, Ill. —Dec. 20, 2011 — Shoppers are spending more than previously projected —and in fewer trips — this holiday season.

According to ShopperTrak — the world's largest provider of retail and mall foot-traffic counting services — national retail sales, when compared to the same period last year, will rise 3.7 percent during November and December, while foot traffic will decrease 2.2 percent. The forecast is updated from ShopperTrak’s earlier prediction of a 3 percent sales increase; the foot-traffic forecast remains the same.

“Shoppers took an expected break after Black Friday, but spending will likely rise as the calendar rolls into Christmas,” said ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin. “With shoppers making fewer trips than last year, but spending more, each one is more valuable.”

Retail sales results affect forecast

ShopperTrak adjusted its forecast after it saw a strong lift in retail sales last month; they estimate a 4.1 increase in retail sales in November over 2010. ShopperTrak also expects Super Saturday, the last full shopping day before Christmas which fell on Dec. 17 this year, to be the second highest retail sales day of the season, beat only by Black Friday. According to ShopperTrak, Super Saturday will kick off the highest grossing shopping week of the year this week.

Weather and calendar shifts affect sales

Beyond November’s strong sales numbers, colder weather will positively affect retail sales in the coming weeks, according to ShopperTrak. Warm temperatures across the nation kept seasonal winter merchandise on the shelves early in the holiday season. As temperatures drop, ShopperTrak expects increases in cold weather gear sales. 

Hanukkah also shifted dates from Dec. 1 in 2010 to Dec. 20 this year, and ShopperTrak predicts the calendar change will bring out more shoppers as the holiday season winds down. The week before Christmas will also be especially important this year, as five of the holiday season’s top ten sales and foot traffic days will occur between Dec. 18 and Dec. 24. While Black Friday is typically the strongest shopping day of the season, one third of all holiday sales are historically made in the week prior to Christmas. 

“While retailers will continue to mark down items to capture shoppers in the next week, they need to monitor their foot-traffic and make adjustments accordingly,” said Martin. “Staffing and stocking appropriately to foot-traffic will make or break retailers’ performance this week.” 

ShopperTrak’s 3.7 percent holiday sales increase prediction follows 22 consecutive months of year-over-year U.S. retail sales growth. The expected increase is just below the 2010 holiday season’s 4.1 percent sales increase over 2009.

About ShopperTrak

ShopperTrak provides cutting-edge retail intelligence solutions enabling retail companies to count and benchmark their retail foot-traffic at the national, regional and local levels to better understand trends and determine the impact of store and staff performance on company revenues. With more than 40,000 units installed in the world's best known retail outlets and malls and more than 15 years of retail expertise, ShopperTrak is the industry's authority for information and analysis of the movement of shoppers in retail environments. ShopperTrak offers a managed service to provide the most accurate retail foot traffic counting service available. The company’s solutions provide a proven means for retailers to gauge labor efficiencies, advertising and marketing efforts, store design and remodeling programs, merchandise changes, associate training programs, and other budget-intensive strategic initiatives. ShopperTrak is a privately held entity headquartered in Chicago, Ill. For more information, visit

About the National Retail Sales Estimate (NRSE)

Developed by ShopperTrak, the National Retail Sales Estimate (NRSE) provides a nationwide benchmark of GAFO retail sales. NRSE is derived from the U.S. Commerce Department's GAFO (general merchandise, apparel, furniture, sporting goods, electronics, hobby, books and other related store sales) statistic, as well as ShopperTrak's proprietary industry intelligence on shopper foot traffic and sales. NRSE provides retailers, investors and policy makers the most accurate and timely information on consumer sales trends available today.

The data contained within this news release is the property of ShopperTrak Corporation and may be reprinted, published or broadcast, provided proper credit is given to the National Retail Sales Estimate (NRSE), the ShopperTrak Retail Traffic Index and ShopperTrak Corporation as the supplier of the information. 

For more information on ShopperTrak’s Retail Traffic Indices and the National Retail Sales Estimate of GAFO Retail Sales, please visit ShopperTrak’s Website,



Media Contacts: 

Teresa Krueger 
(312) 529-5414
Kelly Van Tuinen/Kristin Ellertson
The Reynolds Communications Group
(312) 541-9300 ext. 107 / ext. 101

Posted 12.20.2011