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ShopperTrak Lowers Holiday Sales Forecast

– Revised holiday forecast indicates 2.5 percent year-over-year sales increase –

CHICAGO – December 19, 2012 – Retail foot traffic and sales continued to increase last week, as the holidays drew nearer and more consumers headed back to stores. For the week ending Dec. 15, retail foot traffic increased 15.1 percent over the previous week. Retail sales increased 16.4 percent during the same period.

Though week-over-week traffic and sales increased, ShopperTrak, the world’s largest counter of retail foot traffic, reported traffic and sales were down from the same period last year. In year-over-year comparisons, foot traffic declined 4.4 percent and sales declined 4.3 percent.

“Hanukkah-related shopping helped boost retail sales last week, but many consumers delayed their Christmas shopping — and with good reason. They saw 32 shopping days between Black Friday and Christmas, the longest interval possible,” said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak founder. “However, time is running out and Christmas is less than one week away. 

“As a result, we forecast the week ending Dec. 22 will experience the largest weekly sales volume of the year. And Saturday, Dec. 22 will be one of the five busiest shopping days of the season.”

Despite this last-minute rush, ShopperTrak now forecasts holiday sales for the months of November and December will increase by about 2.5 percent over last year — down slightly from the 3.3 percent increase it projected in September. ShopperTrak still maintains holiday season foot traffic will increase 2.8 percent over last year. This represents the first increase in retail foot traffic during the holiday season since the recession in 2008. Several factors contributed to the company’s decision to lower its forecast, including heavily discounted merchandise and the impact of Hurricane Sandy.

About the National Retail Sales Estimate (NRSE)

ShopperTrak measures foot traffic in more than 50,000 global locations and analyzes the data in a proprietary, econometric model to create its ShopperTrak National Retail Sales Estimate™ (NRSE) of general merchandise, apparel and accessories, furniture and other sales (GAFO). Its estimate precedes the federal government’s official reports by several weeks.  The U.S. Department of Commerce will release its December GAFO sales numbers in February.

About ShopperTrak

ShopperTrak is a retail technology company that anonymously counts people, analyzes data and identifies opportunities to increase revenue for retailers, mall developers and entertainment venues. Founded in 1995, ShopperTrak counts billions of shoppers annually in more than 50,000 locations across 74 countries. The Chicago-based company has more than 200 employees with offices in High Wycombe, England; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Shenzhen, China; and San Francisco, Calif. Find out more at


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Posted 12.19.2012