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Late Retail Shoppers Increase December Sales

Week ending Dec. 24 and day after Christmas saw sales and traffic increases over last year

CHICAGO, Ill. – Dec. 28, 2011 – Retailers got a last minute holiday gift this year. Late holiday shoppers — both in the week leading up to Christmas and on the day after — boosted sales and made clear this year’s holiday season will likely outpace the same period last year.

According to ShopperTrak — the world’s largest provider of retail and mall foot-traffic counting services — consumers spent approximately $44 billion in GAFO retail sales for the week ending Dec. 24, a 37.8 percent increase over the previous week and a 14.8 percent gain over the same week last year. Foot traffic was also high, increasing 32.4 percent from the previous week.

Last week’s sales increase ensured this December will outpace December 2010. Month-to-date figures are up 4.7 percent over December 2010.

“Holiday shopping reached a climax last week,” said ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin. “With good weather in most of the country and the season coming to a close, procrastinators and bargain hunters hit the stores and gave retailers the sales lift they needed to outpace last year.”

According to ShopperTrak, a late holiday shopping surge is not uncommon. Last year, the 10 days before Christmas accounted for 24.4% of total GAFO retail sales in the entire holiday shopping season of November and December.

“Increased foot-traffic does not always translate into sales,” added Martin. “Retailers who monitored their foot-traffic hourly and adjusted inventory and staffing to convert shoppers into buyers were the most successful last week.”

Day After Christmas Results

As expected, shoppers came out in full force on the day after Christmas because it fell on a Monday for the first time in six years. The day ranked fourth in foot-traffic and sales for the entire holiday season, behind Black Friday Nov. 26, Friday Dec. 23 and Super Saturday Dec. 17.  Foot traffic increased 25.9% over the same day last year and consumers spent $7.1 billion on Dec. 26 in GAFO retail sales, an increase of 25.5% percent over the same day last year.

“Dec. 26 was likely the last door-buster day of the season as shoppers returned unwanted gift items and shopped for marked-down merchandise,” said Martin. “ShopperTrak expects a drop in sales this week as the season ends. Retailers must continue to monitor same-store traffic to capitalize on the final week of the holiday season.”

ShopperTrak analyzed foot-traffic from more than 25,000 locations in the United States to create this National Retail Sales Estimate™  (NRSE) of general merchandise, apparel and accessories, furniture and other sales.

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
Mobile: (773) 230-1114 / (847) 338-4260

Posted 12.28.2011