Foot Traffic Falls 12.9% in January, Sales Down 3.8%

Foot traffic in U.S. retail shopping centers for the month of January fell 12.9 percent while retail sales posted a 3.8 percent decline for the same period, according to ShopperTrak RCT Corp.

 “While sales and traffic levels were both significantly down in January, the current economy, poor weather, and the fact that January is typically a slow month for the industry most likely means retailers were prepared for the poor monthly showing,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak, Chicago. “Looking ahead, we should see a slight increase around Valentine’s Day later this week, before both sales and traffic return to more seasonal levels until early April when Easter should provide a boost.”

Sales figures were provided by ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate, which provides a nationwide benchmark of retail sales. It is derived from the U.S. Commerce Department’s GAFO (general merchandise, apparel, furniture, sporting goods, electronics, hobby, books and other related store sales) statistic, as well as ShopperTrak proprietary industry intelligence on shopper movement and sales statistics.

Meanwhile, foot traffic is measured by ShopperTrak’s Retail Traffic Index, which measures traffic across five separate retail segments including total U.S. retailing.