Easter traffic, sales dip in 2014

NEW YORK — The eight-day run up to Easter 2014 fell shy of the previous year’s comparable period by 9.3% in traffic and 8.9% in sales. According to data from retail analytics provider RetailNext, there was a 1.2 percentage-point improvement in conversion, which helped generate a sales decline that was less than the traffic decline.

Average transaction value was down by 1.9% leading up to Easter Sunday, with sales-per-shopper up by 0.4 percentage points. Friday, April 18 saw higher conversion than Good Friday in 2013, along with smaller traffic and sales declines seen for the eight-day period leading up to Easter and even before Easter.

According to RetailNext, possible reasons for the decline in 2014 include Easter coming a couple of weeks after the Daylight Savings Time adjustment (as compared with 2013 when Easter was more than a month after the adjustment), a period that typically sees positive sales trends. Along those lines, Easter 2013 coincided with the start of spring, a time typically characterized by clear weather and more outdoor activity. 

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