Sales to rise 2.4% this holiday season

Consumer behavior analytics provider ShopperTrak predicts a 2.4 percent increase in sales for the upcoming holiday selling season, which runs from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31.

Sales were up 4.7 percent in August, a sign of a positive back-to-school season and a promising holiday season.

However, in-store visits decreased 2.7 percent in the month of August as shoppers have been more focused on their shopping trips. Those that did shop spent more per trip, with conversion and transaction size rising 1.2 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively.

"ShopperTrak is very encouraged by the uptick in conversion and the steady increase in transaction size—both of which contributed to a 4.7 percent sales increase during August," said Kevin Kearns, ShopperTrak chief revenue officer. "The data indicates shoppers are eager to buy, but they are doing their homework before coming to the store. We anticipate this pattern to continue into the holiday, and predict that sales in the GAFO sector will increase when compared to the 2014 season."

The trend to shop earlier will continue, according to ShopperTrak, as the split between November and December continues to narrow. An early Hanukkah in November will help surge sales.

"Several trends indicate a successful November and December, including the rise of the educated consumer—who visits the store less but buys more—and the lengthening of the shopping season," Kearns said. "Retailers need to understand these evolving trends in order to meet their customers' needs and ultimately capitalize on the entire 61-day holiday shopping season."

In late summer, the National Retail Federation lowered its retail sales forecast for 2015 because of slow growth in the first half of the year. Originally, the NRF predicted in February that sales would grow 4.1 percent, but has now adjusted the number to a 3.5 percent growth.

For more:
-See this ShopperTrak report

Related stories:
August sales, traffic dip 7% and 10%
Sales growth forecast lowered to 3.5%
Retail sales to rise 4% in 2015
Walmart, Kroger, Costco top retail sales list
Retailers concerned about fall sales

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