Saturday, December 17, 2011

NPD: More shoppers out, but spending less

There was an increase in the number of shoppers in the week ending Dec. 12, with 67 percent of U.S. consumers shopping at brick-and-mortar retail stores as compared to 66 percent the week prior, according to The NPD Group’s Shopping Activity Weekly Holiday Trends report.

Brick-and-mortar shopping conversion remained stable for the week ending Dec. 12 at 67 percent. Stores that increased their shopping conversion rates this week include national chain retailers (up 2 percent) and department stores (up 2 percent).

Despite stability and increases for shopping conversion arates, NPD reported that the average amount spent by shoppers during their brick-and-mortar buying visits was down five percent during the week ending Dec. 12 from the prior week. This is the first decline seen in the average amount spent after five consecutive weeks of increases.

“There is good news and bad news in these holiday results,” Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at The NPD Group, said. “The good news is that the consumer keeps shopping. The bad news is that the post-Thanksgiving lull continues. Retailers need to be more aggressive in luring customers into stores by using online and by offering more deals. We do see that some stores continued door-busters, and it has paid off.”

The online share of buying visits remained stable at 17 percent in the week ending Dec. 12, marking the second consecutive week at a record high level, according to NPD. While buying visits held steady, online spending levels have declined, with the amount spent per online buying visit dropping 18 percent the week ending Dec. 12 versus the prior week (which included Cyber Monday).

“Online continues to be the bigger story for holiday 2011,” Cohen said. “What I think will be next is more deals offered online that will help to regain the momentum that online has been building.”

The NPD Group’s Shopping Activity Weekly Holiday Trends report is a study fielded to 4,750 United States consumers daily, capturing brick-and-mortar shopping behavior and online purchase behavior in a range of categories.

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