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Retail shopper count underscores holiday slowdown

Shoppers crowded stores State St. (Washington)  day after Christmas. | Rich Hein~Sun-Times

Shoppers crowded the stores on State St. (at Washington) on the day after Christmas. | Rich Hein~Sun-Times

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Updated: January 29, 2013 6:28AM



A second retail report in as many days underscored shoppers’ caution this holiday season, with ShopperTrak reporting Thursday that retail sales dropped 2.5 percent and foot traffic declined 3.3 percent year-over-year for the week ending Dec. 22.

But sales leading into Christmas increased by 39.1 percent and traffic increased 32 percent from the previous week.

“Procrastinators finally headed to the stores and helped several days of this past week secure places as the best-performing retail days of the year,” said ShopperTrak Founder Bill Martin.

“Super Saturday,” Dec. 22, was the second-busiest retail sales and foot traffic day of the year, behind Nov. 23 (Black Friday). And Friday was the fourth-busiest sales and traffic day, the company reported.

ShopperTrak forecasts that Wednesday, Dec. 26, will be the fifth-best retail foot traffic day and the seventh-best sales day of the year — but the day after Christmas won’t be as strong this year, Martin said.

“Last year, Dec. 26 fell on a Monday. Many people had the day off, which they spent shopping,” he said. “This year, the day after Christmas was a Wednesday — many people were back at work, not out in stores.”



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