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Approach of holidays brings increase in retail foot traffic, sales for week ended Dec. 8

BY Rebecca Haughey

CHICAGO — Holiday shoppers continued their quest for the perfect gifts during the week ended Dec. 8, according to ShopperTrak. Consumer activity drove a 7.8% increase in foot traffic and 6.5% increase in sales from the previous week.

Consumers, however, were not as active as they were at this time last year, with a sales decrease of 1.5% when compared to the same period in 2011. ShopperTrak predicted last week’s slight lags in year-over-year foot traffic, as an extra full weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year means shoppers have more time to postpone their holiday purchases.

Week-over-week numbers improved in part due to the beginning of Hanukkah on Dec. 8. ShopperTrak expects this pattern of increasing foot traffic and sales to continue, with the week before Christmas generating the largest weekly sales volume of the year.

"Shoppers have 12 days, including two full weekends, to complete their Christmas purchases," said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak founder. "After this week, stores and malls are going to see business picking up as droves of consumers tick off the final items of their shopping lists. The best way for retailers to translate this expected increase in retail foot traffic into more sales is to measure and manage their shopper conversion rates. This information will allow them to respond to the holiday shopper’s uneven behavior and secure their bottom lines as the year draws to a close."

ShopperTrak analyzed retail foot traffic from more than 50,000 locations across 74 countries to create this National Retail Sales Estimate of general merchandise, apparel, accessories, furniture and other specialty categories.

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NRF reports boost in November sales with start to holiday shopping season

BY Rebecca Haughey

WASHINGTON — According to the National Retail Federation, eager holiday shoppers helped November retail sales — excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants — increase 0.8% seasonally adjusted from October and increase 4.4% unadjusted year-over-year. The NRF also expects holiday sales to grow 4.1% over the last holiday season.

"A successful Thanksgiving weekend for retailers and diminishing impacts in the Northeast due to Hurricane Sandy put retail sales back on track in November after tepid results in October," NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. "Though negotiations in Washington over the fiscal cliff could affect consumer confidence and spending in December, overall we are optimistic that we’ll see solid sales growth this holiday season."

November retail sales, released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Commerce, showed total retail and food service sales increased 0.3% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 3.7% unadjusted year-over-year.

"Stable employment rates, lower gasoline prices and a recovering housing market have all contributed to a holiday shopping season that is on target to meet our original expectations," NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said. "American consumers are expected to spend cautiously as they monitor the situation in Washington and wrap up their holiday shopping lists."

Due to Superstorm Sandy, many retailers reported losses after forced store closures, while others — like home and building supply stores — witnessed spikes in sales due to recovery and rebuilding efforts. Those retailers’ sales increased 1.6% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month.

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OTC utilization driven by heavy users

BY Michael Johnsen

Anticipated increases in OTC use for the upcoming year are driven by those who have already reported a rise in usage, according to an online survey of more than 900 AccentHealth viewers conducted in September. Almost half of those who reported increased use of OTC medicines in the past year project that trend will continue with another increase in OTC use in the coming year.  

To see more Patient Views, click here.

Patient Views is a new, exclusive consumer insights feature that appears in every edition of DSN magazine, as well as the daily e-newsletter DSN A.M. If you could ask 4,000 patients anything at all, what would it be? Send your questions to [email protected]

 

Source: AccentHealth. To view the demographic breakdown of participants, click here.

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