January store traffic and sales both took a 7.7 percent hit in January from the same month in 2014. Sales hit their peak the last day of the month.
The month started off slow, with a steep decline in traffic of 8.5 percent and 11.4 percent dip in sales, according to RetailNext.
The highest levels of traffic and transactions in the month were the Saturday before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Jan. 17. But sales and average transaction value were highest on Jan. 31. The threat of wintry conditions drove traffic into stores to stock up on seasonal goods.
Retail results varied greatly by regions of the country. The Northeast was hammered by winter storm Juno late in the month and therefore had the slowest brick-and-mortar sales and traffic, dipping 10.9 percent and 12.8 percent respectively.
The Midwest was the only region with a year-over-year increase in traffic, by 0.1 percent. Weather in the region was the warmest since 2003, supporting in-store traffic. But sales declined by 4.7 percent.
A tough few months for traffic, RetailNext reported in November that U.S. store sales fell 11 percent and traffic was down 11.4 percent. In fact, during the beginning of the holiday season, Euclid reported that traffic lagged significantly, with Black Friday also failing to match last year's traffic due to deals distributed across a greater time period and more retail channels—in other words, more online transactions. This change was known as the "Thanksgiving effect," or retailers opening stores earlier than usual on Thanksgiving Day.
-See this RetailNext report
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