(NEW YORK) — The last full week before Christmas is usually the final chance for many holiday shoppers to make any last minute purchases. But retail experts at ShopperTrak — the world’s largest analyzer of retail shopping traffic — say this year’s sales figures for that week have taken a hit due to bad weather persuading many shoppers to stay home.
On Saturday, which is typically the second largest shopping day of the year, and Sunday, stores saw 7 percent less foot traffic, and sales were down 3.1 percent from last year. According to Moody’s Investor Service, consumers are willing to wait as long as possible, even if that means doing their shopping after Christmas.
ShopperTrak’s founder, Bill Martin, tells ABC News a boost in November sales may have saved the season for retailers with the entire month of November sales being up 3.4 percent.
“We’re not adding sales in November, we’re stealing them from December, so this downward trend that we’re seeing right now will be balanced out by the strength of November. And we still would anticipate that we’ll see a 2.4 percent lift for the total holiday season,” he says.
If retailers want to survive a winter season battered by rough weather, Martin says they’re going to have to get a new strategy, namely an online retail site.
“The retailer has to have a good presence online, they have to use as strategy that drives people from online into the store, and then subsequently — once they’re inside the store — they want to drive them back to online so they can create a circular reference that keeps the customer coming back.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Lois M. Collins, Deseret News