ShopperTrak: October 2012

Total U.S. shopper traffic in retail stores and malls for October 2012

Columbus Day and Halloween have historically brought more shoppers to stores in October. This year, however, the month saw a 4.1% decrease in retail foot traffic compared with September. October 2012 did manage to narrowly continue a trend of year-over-year improvements by posting a 1.4% increase in retail foot traffic when compared to the same month last year.

Columbus Day, which always falls on a Monday, offered a long weekend with an extra shopping day for some, but not all, Americans. Shopper traffic also generally spikes in the days leading up to Halloween celebrations at the end of October. This year, clearly, Hurricane Sandy severely limited shopping in the Northeast at the close of the month.
When a giant storm approaches, shoppers understandably are distracted. Buying costumes and decorations takes a back seat to boarding up buildings and piling sandbags. When Sandy hit the mid-Atlantic and Northeast coastline areas on Monday, Oct. 29, retail foot traffic in the region was 75% lower than traffic on the same day last year. This trend held true for the final days of October.

As election campaigns end and communities recover from the impact of the hurricane, shoppers will return to stores. ShopperTrak predicts Black Friday, Nov. 23, will be the busiest shopping day of the year for retail foot traffic and sales. Retailers can expect both month-over-month and year-over-year increased retail foot traffic in November.

ShopperTrak's data and analyses in this article are based on counting billions of shoppers in more than 50,000 locations across 74 countries. ShopperTrak is a leading retail technology company that anonymously counts people, analyzes data and identifies opportunities to increase revenue for retailers, mall developers and entertainment venues.  Find out more at http://www.shoppertrak.com.