Dec 27 U.S. retail sales fell 2.5 percent last
week from a year earlier as fewer people visited stores, retail
tracking firm ShopperTrak said on Thursday, the latest signal
that this holiday season's growth may not be as robust as some
ShopperTrak, which monitors the number of people walking
into stores across the United States, said foot traffic fell 3.3
percent in the week ended Dec. 22 from last year.
However, sales increased 39.1 percent and traffic rose 32.0
percent compared to the previous week, as procrastinators rushed
to finish last-minute shopping, ShopperTrak said.
The Saturday before Christmas, Dec. 22, was the
second-busiest retail sales and foot traffic day of the year,
behind Black Friday on Nov. 23, the traditional start of the
holiday shopping season, ShopperTrak said.
Shopping on the day after Christmas probably was not as
strong this year as it was in 2011, ShopperTrak said. This year,
Dec. 26 fell on a Wednesday, and many people likely were back at
work. Last year, the day after Christmas came on a Monday.
Last week, ShopperTrak lowered its holiday season forecast,
calling for sales in November and December to increase only 2.5
percent from 2011, down from 3.3 percent.