U.S. Specialty Retailer Performance Data
Despite increasing uncertainty brought on by the government shutdown, October had higher traffic levels for all weeks when compared to the latter four weeks of September (excludes week one, which coincided with Labor Day). According to the new RetailNext Composite Index report, which aggregates and analyzes nearly 20 million shopping trips, Specialty Retailers experienced increases in average traffic, conversion, and net sales in October as compared to September. Here’s how it broke down:
- Traffic up 2.6%
- Conversion up 3.9%
- Net Sales up 6.8%
- Sales per shopper up 3.7%
- Transactions up 7.1%
- ATV remained flat
While sales increased across all regions in October, traffic followed suit (with the exception of the Northeast which had a minimal traffic decline). Conversion was up by an average of 5% in each region, which drove national gains in SPS despite slight decreases in ATV in some regions.
The Southeast’s dramatic 13.2% increase in sales was driven by an 8.0% increase in traffic and a 5.0% increase in conversion. The Southeast was able to capitalize on both the highest traffic increase and the healthy conversion boost to drive the greatest growth in sales.
Week Over Week
Transactions and sales during this period improved every week except for the week of Halloween, in spite of the fact that the day before Halloween was the highest converting day of month – with the highest sales per shopper. Retailers missed an opportunity to upsell a higher converting base of shoppers as reflected by the flat month-over-month ATV.
The conversion improvements in October point to improved shopper motivation and/or retailer execution during the period. Aside from Sunday and Monday, which were largely affected by Labor Day, days of the week in October saw meaningful increases in traffic. Thursday was the only day of the week in October that did not experience a conversion improvement over September.
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.