2020 may seem like a distant memory and we may have confirmation of how retailers performed throughout the holiday period, according to foot traffic analytic firm Placer.ai.
'Tremendous Resiliency': Retail foot traffic at 30 of the top retailers were down 48.1% year-over-year in May and improved each month through October, according to a Placer.ai report. At that time, retail foot traffic was down 5.7% year-over-year.
However, a surge in COVID-19 cases quickly followed and impacted the retail sector heading into Black Friday. November traffic took a step back and was down 16.6% year-over-year and marked the worst monthly change since June's 21.5% decline.
But the retail group showed "tremendous resilience" with a huge improvement in December where traffic was down 12.1%.
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Black Friday Weekend Details: Foot traffic during the full Black Friday week was down 24.7% year-over-year. But the group of more than two dozen retailers saw traffic improve to down 14.6% during Super Saturday Week and down 11.9% during the pre-Christmas week.
"Shoppers have consistently shown that when allowed to return to retail, they will," according to Placer.ai.
Basket Size: The financial impact felt by retailers from falling foot traffic could be partially offset by growing basket size. It is possible that consumers are shopping less often but buying more items per visit.
Target Corporation TGT, Dollar General Corp. DG, and Dicks Sporting Goods Inc. DKS saw visit durations improve 7%, 9.1%, and 13.2%, respectively, during the holiday shopping season.
Even struggling Macy's Inc. M managed to show positive duration growth at 2%.
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