NEW YORK Dec 5 U.S. consumers took a breather
from holiday shopping last week after flocking to stores for
the Thanksgiving weekend and are now awaiting more deals before
jumping back into the fray, according to data released on
Wednesday by ShopperTrak RCT.
ShopperTrak RCT, which tracks sales at more than 50,000
U.S. retail locations, said retail sales for the week ended
Dec. 1 fell 4.4 percent compared with same period a year ago,
marking the largest year-over-year sales decline since March.
Total retail sales fell 12.5 percent compared with the
previous week ended Nov. 24, which included the start of the
Thanksgiving holiday shopping weekend, while store traffic fell
22.3 percent, it said.
The U.S. Thanksgiving weekend is seen as the start of the
holiday shopping season, when retailers offer deep discounts on
select items to draw shoppers into their stores on "Black
Friday," the day after Thanksgiving, and also on Saturday.
But after the deals fade, shoppers often take a break, and
delay their spending, awaiting more sales closer to Christmas.
"With three full weekends left before Christmas many
consumers might be waiting until the last minute to wrap up
their holiday spending," said Bill Martin, co-founder of
ShopperTrak, in a statement.
On Tuesday, figures from International Council of Shopping
Centers-UBS showed that retail sales at stores open at least a
year, or same-store sales, rose 3.1 percent in the week ended
Dec. 1 compared with a year earlier.
Same-store sales fell 2 percent compared with the previous
week, ICSC-UBS said.
On Thursday, big retail chains including Wal-Mart Stores
Inc (WMT.N), Target Corp (TGT.N), Kohl's Corp (KSS.N), Gap Inc
(GPS.N) and Costco Wholesale Corp (COST.O) will report November
sales results, providing more insight into the strength of
sales during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
(Reporting by Nicole Maestri, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)