Back-to-school shopping, the second-largest shopping season in the United States, helped make this August a strong month for retailers. Shoppers took advantage of back-to-school promotions to outfit students for the new school year. ShopperTrak, the world’s largest counter and analyzer of retail foot traffic, found that August’s retail foot traffic increased 6.3% compared with the previous month and increased 12.3% compared with the same month last year.
Last year at this time, the country was in the throes of a debt ceiling crisis and faced a downgrade of the national debt. The fractious debate in Congress pulled down consumer confidence, so consumers pulled back on their shopping activity in August 2011. Without these issues weighing on them, consumers increased their shopping and in August 2012 retail traffic jumped considerably compared to the same period the year before.
In July, ShopperTrak predicted an August increase in back-to-school sales, though the past few Augusts struggled to attain positive sales results. As ShopperTrak noted, August 2012 presented retailers with a tremendous opportunity to take all steps possible to maximize their shopper opportunity and increase conversion rates. Indeed, parents did fill their carts with more pencils, supplies and back-to-school clothes than they did during the same period last year.
Many retailers have extended their back-to-school sales into the first month of school, which ShopperTrak believes will boost traffic in September. ShopperTrak expects year-over-year positive changes in foot traffic to continue through September.
ShopperTrak's data and analyses in this article are based on counting billions of shoppers in more than 50,000 locations across 74 countries. ShopperTrak is a leading retail technology company that anonymously counts people, analyzes data and identifies opportunities to increase revenue for retailers, mall developers and entertainment venues. Find out more at http://www.shoppertrak.com.