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U.S. retail-store traffic plunged 21 percent last week, ShopperTrak reports

By Adam Rombel


Fewer American consumers rushed to the malls and outlet centers in the critical final week of shopping before Christmas, despite deep discounting by retailers.

U.S. retail brick-and-mortar shopper traffic fell by 21.2 percent the week of Dec. 16 to Dec. 22, compared to the same period in 2012, Chicago–based research firm ShopperTrak reported yesterday.

In-store retail sales totals for general merchandise, apparel, furniture, and other products slipped 3.1 percent from the same week last year, ShopperTrak said.

“Bad weather throughout the country kept some shoppers away from stores,” Bill Martin, ShopperTrak founder, said in a news release. “This past week was their final opportunity to complete their holiday shopping before Christmas — and though many did finish making their purchases, retailers did not see as many shoppers as last year.”

Even with more markdowns and promotional efforts from retailers, sales on the final Saturday before Christmas (Dec. 21) fell by 0.7 percent compared to 2012, according to ShopperTrak. And, in-store shopper traffic decreased 18.1 percent from the same day a year ago.

ShopperTrak says it’s the world’s largest counter and analyzer of retail shopper traffic.


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