ShopperTrak is predicting a 2.9 percent retail sales increase versus last year's 0.4 percent decline for the upcoming holiday season (November/December) in the U.S. Black Friday (Nov. 26), Dec. 23 and Super Saturday (Dec. 18) are forecasted to be the strongest sales days.
The retail tracking service has also broken down holiday sales predictions by month, forecasting a 3.0 percent increase for next month and a 2.7 rise in December. In addition, ShopperTrak predicts this year's holiday foot traffic to decline by 0.1 percent for November/December combined compared to 2009's 3.4 percent drop.
"Despite various economic pressures, consumers have remained resilient and found a way to spend throughout 2010, although not at the level retailers experienced prior to the depths of the recession," says Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak. "Although we are predicting a nearly 3 percent sales rise this season, any small increase has to be seen as relative at this point. Winning retailers will effectively entice today's more spendthrift consumer this holiday season by creating more events to raise foot traffic and by offering various sales to maximize the shoppers' spend during each visit."
ShopperTrak has also monitored shopping trends, reporting that over the last 10 months consumers have visited an average of 3.32 stores per shopping trip, down from 3.43 in 2009. The stats are significantly down in years prior to the recession (2006, 2007 and early 2008), which were between 4.0 and 5.0 stores visited.