People Counting and the Rise of Gas Prices
As reported in a recent Time Magazine article, fuel prices have risen 18% since December 2011, but the rise has not deterred consumers from shopping. Retail sales in February were up 1.1% compared to January, and restaurant sales were up 8.2% compared to the year before. Moderate economic growth, slightly declining unemployment, and a moderate winter (i.e., lower heating bills) are all playing into consumers' acceptance of the recent spike in gasoline prices. Also, since many consumers consider the spike to be temporary, many are not changing their driving patterns to conserve gas.
To date in 2012, ShopperTrak reports a 1.6% decline in overall retail people counts in the United States. This slight decline is similar to the approximately 2% year-over-year retail people counts decline that ShopperTrak has observed over the past four years. These trends – rising retail sales and declining retail foot traffic – demonstrate that each shopper is increasingly more valuable to retailers, shoppers are ready to buy when they shop, and the best performing stores have the right number of staff to convert shoppers into buyers. To learn more about how ShopperTrak reports retail foot traffic trends in 25 major metropolitan areas and over 200 shopping areas, visit ShopperTrak Business Analytics.