ShopperTrak puts blame on snow for store shopping decline

Marianne Wilson
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winter storm

A winter storm in the Northeast took a big bite out of shopping in stores during the holiday weekend.

Store traffic for the 2019 Black Friday weekend (Thanksgiving Day through Sunday, Dec. 1) was down 4% compared to 2018. Store traffic on Saturday, Nov. 30, resulted in a 2.6% decrease and traffic on Sunday, Dec. 1, resulted in a 7.5% decrease, according to Sensormatic Solutions’ latest ShopperTrak recap.

On Saturday, traffic increased 0.9% in the Northeast and decreased in all other regions, including Midwest (-10.1%), South (-1.2%) and West (-2.6%). On Sunday, traffic was down significantly by 30% in the Northeast and only down nominally in other regions, including Midwest (-1.4%), South (-3.8%) and West (-1.7%).

“The winter storm that hit most of the Northeast massively impacted in-store traffic patterns for the Thanksgiving weekend,” said Brian Field, senior director of global retail consulting for ShopperTrak. “The Saturday after Black Friday is always one of the busiest shopping days of the holiday season and, this year, shoppers in the Northeast came out in record numbers. Our results showed that many consumers in this region anticipated the storm and did most of their shopping on Saturday instead of Sunday this year.”

Sensormatic Solutions also looked at the effect of Cyber Monday on brick-and-mortar retail traffic on Monday and found that this year’s traffic increased 0.5%.

“This year we saw an overall increase in store traffic on Cyber Monday,” said Field. “Our data historically indicates that Cyber Monday has little impact on in-store traffic. We attribute the uptick this year to some regional snowfall last year and the growing trend of buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS). Many consumers made their purchases online when stores were crowded and elected to pick them up on Monday when stores were not as busy.”

Sensormatic Solutions also analyzed traffic on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. After all data was tallied, the final results found that store traffic on Thanksgiving resulted in a 0.8% decrease and store traffic on Black Friday resulted in a 4.4% decrease. Data for the combined two-day period resulted in a 3.6% decline in traffic. A slight variation from what was originally reported, Black Friday remains the busiest holiday shopping day by a landslide.

More information on the 2019 top busiest shopping days here: Top Busiest Holiday Shopping Days.