Declining traffic and early Easter to blame
The RetailNext platform is the source of a great deal of unique information about what's happening in bricks and mortar. Because the platform measures more than 400 million shopping trips a year, we can use RetailNext aggregated and anonymized metrics to reveal some key indicators of the retail industry's health. I recently sat down perform such an examination for North American specialty retail, looking at March and April 2013.
Specialty retailers saw a 5.5% average decline in sales along with a 5.9% decrease in traffic from March to April this year. Although conversion was up by 3.6% on average, representing a median increase of 2.4%, those who were purchasing were spending less as average transaction value (“ATV”) was down by 2.8%. The net result on sales per shopper was a 0.5% improvement from March to April.
April sales were unfavorably affected by the earlier Easter this year. We estimate that April would have experienced a 1.3% improvement in sales had the holiday fallen the second week of April or later.
These trends will define retail for the next several years and will distinguish the leaders from the failures.
When analyzing data, remember that you’re listening first and foremost
Lackluster sales overall, but April will be a key month to watch
Bed Bath & Beyond and PetSMART top the list