The latest edition of the RetailNext Retail Performance Pulse has been published and is available for download, providing an overview of brick-and-mortar store performance for the retail month of September 2019 (September 1 through October 5 on the industry’s 4-5-4 calendar).
Store performance in September provided another proof point that while shoppers might visit physical stores less often, when they do, they do so with a very strong intent to buy. At an aggregated level, shopper traffic was 5.7 percent less than the previous year, but resulted in just a 1.1 decline in sales as measured year-over-year (YoY). Additionally, conversion (CVR) increased by 1.4 points, its highest increase of the year, and transactions posted its first increase of 2019. While conversion was at a high, average transaction value (ATV) dipped for the first time this year, posting a 1.3 percent decline.
The first week of September was the best performing week of the month, as Hurricane Florence negatively impacted the south during that same week in 2018. Additionally, Labor Day weekend sales, conversion and shopper yield (SY) contributed to the first week’s positive performance. Alternatively, at the end of the month, September saw some of its largest declines across metrics, including sales, traffic and transactions.
The highs of September occurred at the beginning and middle of the month. Overall, Labor Day weekend experienced positive performance, with Monday, September 2nd recording the highest average transaction value. Thursday, September 5th, was surprisingly the best day for conversion and shopper yield, while Saturday, September 21st had the highest sales and traffic counts. On the flip side, the lowest performing days were Monday, September 23rd for sales, traffic, average transaction value, shopper yield and transactions, and Sunday, September 22nd for conversion.
Geographically, the Northeast and West experienced cooler conditions while the South was warm and dry. The Midwest began to experience fall-like conditions, perhaps driving increases in sales and traffic of 3.1 percent and 0.3 percent respectively, making it by far the best performing region across those metrics during September. Cooler conditions in the Northeast contributed to a drop in traffic at 8.5 percent, the largest traffic decline across all regions. Experiencing warm and dry conditions, the South posted negative trends across the board, except for a 0.5 point increase in conversion. In the West, as temperatures started to cool down, the region experienced drops in sales, traffic and average transaction value, while conversion posted the highest of all regions at a 1.4 percent increase.
For a full reporting of physical store performance for the month of September 2019, please download your copy of the Retail Performance Pulse today.