In the week ending Dec. 15, 2012, retail foot traffic was up 15.1% and retail sales were 16.4% over the previous week, according to ShopperTrak, but they were down from the same time period in the year before.
Year-over-year, foot traffic was down 4.4% and sales were down 4.3%.
Bill Martin, founder of the retail research firm, said many consumers delayed their Christmas shopping. "They saw 32 shopping days between Black Friday and Christmas, the longest interval possible," said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak founder. "However, time is running out and Christmas is less than one week away.
The firm is now forecasting that the week ending Dec. 22 will have the largest sales volume of the year. The firm expects Saturday, Dec. 22, to be one of the five busiest shopping days of the season.
Despite the last-minute shopping surge, the firm is now forecasting sales in November and December will increase by only about 2.5% over the same months in 2011., This is down from the 3.3% increase the firm was forecasting in September.
ShopperTrak still expects holiday season foot traffic to increase 2.8% over 2011, making it the first increase in retail foot traffic during the holiday shopping season since the recession in 2008.
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