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ShopperTrak: Late Season Boosts Holiday Store Traffic

ShopperTrak store traffic data for the Sunday before Thanksgiving Day, November 18  through Saturday, December 29, 2018, came in with slightly lower overall totals versus the period in the year earlier, but late season shoppers helped ensure that brick-and-mortar retailers saw a relatively successful holiday sales period before the calendar flipped to 2019.

The company’s prediction for the top 10 traffic days in the 2018 holiday season held true except for the nine and 10 results, which flipped from the prediction when ShopperTrak calculated actual totals.

According to ShopperTrak, the 10 highest holiday traffic days were, as recorded at retail:

  1.   Friday, November 23, Black Friday
  2.   Saturday, December 22, Super Saturday
  3.   Saturday, December 15
  4.   Sunday, December 23
  5.   Saturday, November 24
  6.   Saturday, December 8
  7.   Friday, December 21
  8.   Wednesday, December 26
  9.   Saturday, December 29
  10. Saturday, December 1

Overall, shopper traffic in the November 18 to December 29 holiday period slipped 3% in 2018 from 2017, ShopperTrak noted. However, the decrease was less than that for the pre-holiday year, which was down 3.8% from 2017. The end-of-December traffic gave brick-and-mortar retailers a boost as Super Saturday offered a 2.3% traffic increase compared to the 2017 occasion. The combined three days leading up to Christmas Day this year, Saturday through Monday, enjoyed a 3.8% traffic increase compared to the year-before period. ShopperTrak added that the last 10 days of the total shopping season, December 20 to 29, saw a 0.3% increase from the traffic recorded in the year-prior period.

“While holiday traffic was down overall, the fact that Christmas Day came on a Tuesday, rather than a Monday, played a pivotal role in creating more last-minute shopping activity,” said Brian Field, ShopperTrak senior director of global retail consulting. “This year, retailers promoted extended shopping hours for the entire weekend in-store helping attract more late shoppers and increase brick-and-mortar activity right before the holiday and continuing through the end of December.”