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ShopperTrak: Total U.S. foot traffic falls 3.1%


Chicago ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate (NRSE) Thursday reported that total GAFO retail sales for the month of May increased 3.9% while the company’s Retail Traffic Index (SRTI) reported a 3.1% decline in total U.S. foot traffic for the same period as compared with year.

Once again, the 2010 calendar shift influenced consumer shopping patterns last month as Memorial Day fell in June as opposed to May in 2009, slowing traffic patterns for the period, according to ShopperTrak. Although total U.S. foot traffic declined, ShopperTrak reports retail sales posted a solid increase, pointing to a pattern the traffic intelligence company has seen since November 2009 -- a smarter consumer planning less visits to the mall with a bigger spend during each trip.

Looking at the month-over-month performance, Mother’s Day spending and the build up to Memorial Day boosted both sales and traffic levels as ShopperTrak’s SRTI reported a 3.3% traffic increase, while the company’s NRSE reported a steady 7.9% rise. The 2010 calendar shift also strongly influenced month-over-month performance as April 2010 did not contain Easter holiday traffic, equaling a slower month.

“Yet again, the monthly retail performance points to a truly resilient consumer who is economically planning trips around perceived value and spending more dollars during each of these visits,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak. “This continued pattern points to a relatively positive retail environment so far throughout 2010 and after analyzing our data and speaking with our clients we believe this trend will continue throughout the summer and into the holidays as Memorial Day, Father’s Day, July 4th and eventually back-to-school shopping positively influences retail performance.”

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