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Retail stores still important for holiday shopping experience

In-store shopper numbers for Black Friday week saw year-over-year improvement.

ShopperTrak, a Tyco Retail Solutions’ brand, has released a more comprehensive report of shopper behavior during 2018 Black Friday week through the busy weekend, the period spanning from Sun., Nov. 18 to Sun., Nov. 25. For the analysis, ShopperTrak compared daily store traffic versus the same days last year.

ShopperTrak found that store traffic for the Black Friday week in total resulted in a 1.2% decrease vs. last year. But this decline represents an improvement from 2017 when traffic was down 2.3%. Black Friday weekend 2018 (Thurs., Nov. 22 to Sun., Nov. 25) declined only 1.5% this year, compared to a 2.2% decline in 2017. With online shopping increasing and the early holiday store traffic trends starting to improve over previous years, the relevance of the store for the customer shopping experience is becoming evident. Black Friday festive store shopping is still important for today’s consumers.

“Overall, this year’s minor decrease in shopper visit performance indicates that Black Friday still remains one of the busiest in-store shopping days of the year and traffic is stabilizing from previous years,” said Brian Field, senior director of global retail consulting for ShopperTrak.

ShopperTrak also looked at the effect of Cyber Monday on brick-and-mortar retail traffic on Monday and found that this year’s traffic was down 7%. This is a larger decrease than in 2017, when Cyber Monday was down 2% and more in line with that year’s holiday weekend results.

“While most of the country is back at work and wouldn’t be shopping significantly in-stores on Monday, the difference between this year’s results and last year’s is surprising. Some of this could have been due to weather issues on Sunday and Monday as well as the lure of Cyber Monday. Regardless, consumers enjoyed their in-store shopping experience over the holiday weekend,” added Field. “Customers are finding their balance between in-store and online shopping strategies, and it will be important for retailers to be prepared for the remaining busiest days in order to compete against online.”

For more information on the 2018 top 10 busiest shopping days and holiday shopping trends, visit the ShopperTrak blog: www.shoppertrak.com/blog.

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