The 10 busiest shopping days accounted for 35.8% of the total holiday season’s brick-and-mortar traffic.
More consumers shopped in stores this year than last. They also shopped earlier in the season.
Shopper traffic for the full six-week holiday period (from the Sunday before Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 21, 2021, through Jan. 1, 2022) was down 19.5% compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019, according to Sensormatic Solutions’ holiday recap. But traffic rose 18.9% over last year. (Also, in 2020, holiday traffic was down 33.1% compared to 2019.)
“Although this was the second holiday season impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer shopping habits looked different than in years past, including 2020,” said Brian Field, senior director of global retail consulting, Sensormatic Solutions, which is part of Johnson Controls. “Despite ongoing concerns about the virus, our traffic data made it clear that consumers were more willing to return to stores this year.”
In another change, supply chain disruptions shifted shopping earlier in the season, with fewer consumers saving their shopping for the last minute, according to Field.
“In the month of November, traffic was only down 18.1% compared to 2019, indicating slightly fewer consumers who left their shopping until the last few days as they had in years past,” he said.
Also, unlike prior U.S. holiday seasons, none of the days following Christmas were among the top 10 busiest in 2021.
“Though it did not make our initial list, we felt that the Monday leading into Christmas would be a strong day for in-store shopping and were not surprised when it overtook Sunday, December 26 for a place on the list of top 10 busiest days in the U.S.,” Field said.
The final shopper traffic data showed that Sensormatic’s initial prediction of the 10 busiest shopper traffic days in the U.S. aligned with the actual busiest days in stores.
The company also originally predicted that the 10 days would account for approximately 40% of all holiday traffic. In total, the actual 2021 busiest shopping days accounted for 35.8% of the total season’s brick-and-mortar traffic.