U.S. Specialty Retailer Performance Data
According to a new RetailNext Composite Index report, which aggregates and analyzes nearly 20 million shopping trips, Specialty Retailers experienced increases in average traffic and overall sales this November as compared to October. Despite the lack of comparability due to seasonality differences, positive signs coming from October into November are evident.
Coinciding with the start of the holiday shopping season, November experienced a 19.4% increase in traffic over October. A slight decrease in conversion of 0.2 percentage points coupled with a 1.6% increase in ATV amounted to an overall sales gain of 21.6%. On a sales per shopper (SPS) basis, retailers experienced a 1.0% gain over October, which one would expect entering the holiday season. Here’s how it broke down:
- Traffic up 19.4%
- Conversion down .2%
- ATV up 1.6%
- Sales up 21.6%
- Sales per shopper (SPS) up 1%
Year-Over-Year (YOY) Metrics
In reviewing YOY metrics for November, total traffic was down 2.8%. Despite this, retailers were able to deliver stronger performance in conversion, ATV, and SPS resulting in a slight uptick in sales of 1%. When coupling Black Friday with Thanksgiving Day, overall traffic was up 1.3%. Total sales for both days were up 5.8% mostly driven by an exceptional increase in conversion of 2.4 percentage points.
Prior to a mid-month rally leading up to Thanksgiving weekend, sales declined during the first couple of weeks of November across the U.S. Driven by holiday shoppers, traffic was up across all U.S. regions. With the exception of the Northeast, lower conversion rates were largely responsible for the decreased SPS levels in November, as retailers were not always able to capitalize on the increased traffic. The West Region experienced the highest sales growth in the nation of 19.8% from October to November.
In summary, retailers were able to capitalize on increasing traffic and ATV to drive higher sales numbers throughout the latter half of November, especially Thanksgiving weekend (Thurs-Sun). Retailers were more or less able to sustain conversion and SPS rates amidst high levels of traffic leading to month-over-month as well as year-over-year gains in sales.
For more details, please visit the RetailNext Composite Index: U.S. Specialty Retail, our new monthly report that aggregates millions of retail performance data points to give you a pulse on the industry.