RetailNext has released its monthly Retail Performance Pulse for the retail month of December (November 27-December 31 on retail’s 4-5-4 calendar), reporting brick-and-mortar store performance metrics not only for the month of December, but for the two-month holiday shopping season of November and December. While December store sales were down 10.7 percent on a 13.4 percent decline in shopper traffic, average transaction value (ATV) and sales per shopper metrics were up significantly, 5.6 percent and 3 percent respectively, sending strong signals that the role of the physical store has changed significantly in retail’s digitally-empowered omnichannel era.
In the press release announcing the results, Bridget Johns, head of marketing and customer experience at RetailNext, said, “Overall, the retail industry should report growth of close to four percent, with discount and outlet segments generally making up for soft department stores performance. Perhaps the most interesting metrics are the strong ATV and shopper yield measures, signaling how the role of stores have changed as brands are converging their digital and physical touchpoints into a singular, seamless shopping experience. Today’s smart store is right-sized in footprint and located in high-trafficked areas, staffed optimally around peak traffic hours, and focused on brand awareness, customer acquisition and value-added services, complementing the long-term cultivation of shoppers through various digital touchpoints. And, despite just exiting a very taxing holiday season, the smart store retailer is already well underway in planning for holiday 2017.”
As forecasted, Black Friday lost its title as retail’s biggest day as this year it was dethroned by the night before the night before Christmas, Friday, December 23. Somewhat surprisingly, December 23 also took the heaviest traffic day as well, edging out “Super Saturday,” December 17.
The strongest week for store performance in December was week four, December 18 through 24, when stores posted an increase in sales of 6.5 percent for the week, year-over-year. For the combined months of November and December, brick-and-mortar sales were down 9.9 percent on a 12.3 percent decline in store traffic, yet with strong 4.8 percent and 2.7 percent increases in ATV and sales per shopper.
For the full reporting of brick-and-mortar store performance, download your copy of the Retail Performance Pulse today.