Holiday retail sales up 2.8 percent

U.S. retail sales for the week ending Dec. 17 increased 2.1 percent as compared to the same week in the previous year, according to ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate. As the 2005 holiday season moves closer to Christmas, retailers report a boost in consumer activity, with a rise in year-over-year and week-over-week retail sales. To date, average weekly sales for December, versus the same period in 2004 rose 2.8 percent.

While “Super Saturday”, the last full shopping Saturday prior to Christmas, helped boost last week’s retail performance, holiday sales should remain strong through the week leading up to Christmas as many consumers will capitalize on having Friday off and on Christmas Eve falling on Saturday to make last-minute gift purchases.

“Sales for the past week were solid and this trend should continue as some shoppers may still be waiting to take advantage of late season bargains leading up to Christmas as retail chains continue to promote heavily,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak. “Since many shoppers will also have the day after Christmas off, we expect to see sales on Dec. 26 out-perform those of 2004, adding another strong day to the holiday shopping calendar which bodes well for the retail industry.”

ShopperTrak, Chicago, provides shopper traffic counting information, technology, and decision support software for businesses in the retail, gaming, hospitality, and entertainment industries.