It is hard to believe how close we are to the holidays, I can’t help but feel like the 2012 holiday season just passed.
I am not the only one thinking about how close we are to the holidays, while no official predictions for direct-to-customer holiday sales figures have been made public, one firm has already predicted a decrease in store traffic, but a rise in store sales.
ShopperTrak, a global provider of shopper insights and analytics, predicts GAFO retail sales to rise 2.4% during the holiday season, beginning in November through December, according to a press release.
Holiday sales and store shopper traffic account for 20% of annual retail activity. This holiday season, the sales increase is built on the 3% increase seen in holiday 2012 versus 2011.
“Even though online buying increases each year, brick-and-mortar sales remain retail’s largest profit opportunity, said ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin. Retailers who deliver a seamless experience both in-store and at every customer touch-point have the chance to capitalize and grab their share of wallet when shoppers visit the stores.
Shopper traffic is expected to decrease 1.4%, which is down from 2012, which saw a 2.5% traffic increase from 2011, according to ShopperTrak.
This year there are only 25 days between Black Friday and Christmas, leaving a short window of opportunity for retailers to capture peak spending. Last year, retailers had 31 days and consumers this year will only have four full weekends to shop, while last year they were granted five.
This year, Hanukkah begins a day before Thanksgiving, which is 11 days earlier than 2012. According to ShopperTrak, an early Hanukkah will not affect overall holiday sales, it will shift time that retailers anticipate traffic increases.
ShopperTrak is expecting promotions to begin early – like the day after Halloween early. Retail sales in popular apparel and the accessories store category are expected to see an increase 2.8% compared to 2012, while shopper traffic at apparel and accessories stores will decrease 1%.
Sales in the electronics and appliance store sector are expected to increase 2% compared to last year, while shopper traffic will see a decrease of 1.2%, according to ShopperTrak.