The RetailNext platform is the source of a great deal of unique information about what's happening in bricks and mortar. Because the platform measures more than 400 million shopping trips a year, we can use RetailNext aggregated and anonymized metrics to reveal some key indicators of the retail industry's health. I recently sat down perform such an examination for North American specialty retail, looking at March and April 2013.
Specialty retailers saw a 5.5% average decline in sales along with a 5.9% decrease in traffic from March to April this year. Although conversion was up by 3.6% on average, representing a median increase of 2.4%, those who were purchasing were spending less as average transaction value (“ATV”) was down by 2.8%. The net result on sales per shopper was a 0.5% improvement from March to April.
April sales were unfavorably affected by the earlier Easter this year. We estimate that April would have experienced a 1.3% improvement in sales had the holiday fallen the second week of April or later.