SalesTech Star

Omicron’s The New Grinch: Holiday Season Store Performance Results

Retail performance for the holiday season (1 Nov – 25 Dec 2021) indicates overall traffic at -21.7% while sales was up to 1.4% compared to 2019.

RetailNext Inc., the worldwide market leader in IoT smart store analytics for optimizing shopper experiences at brick-and-mortar retail stores, has released its 2021 holiday season flash report for retail performance (1 November 2021 to 25 December 2021), indicating overall traffic for the period came in at -21.7% while sales was up to 1.4% compared to 2019. The 2021 holiday season kicked off with a strong performance for store traffic and sales, however, the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, swooped in during the latter weeks of December 2021.

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“There were expectations that store traffic might be closer to – 15%, however, it fell consistently to 25.6% in the last two weeks before Christmas Day as a result of the impact of Omicron. However, a bright spot was that sales was up 1.4% compared to the same period in 2019. This was driven by a strong intent to buy from shoppers who were going into stores, sales being bolstered by curbside and other services, as well as that high average ticket price which was up to 19.3% compared to 2019 and 17.3% compared to 2020”, said Lauren Bitar, RetailNext Head of Insights.

(Figures reported below are as of 1 November 2021 – 25 December 2021)

U.S. Holiday Season Sales Metrics (2021 vs 2019)

Traffic: -21.7%
Sales: 1.4%
ATV: 17.8%
CVR: 2.4%
SY: 25.8%
UPT: -3.8%
AUR: 19.3%

U.S. Holiday Season Sales Metrics (2021 vs 2020)

Traffic: 36.0%
Sales: 39.3%
ATV: 10.6%
CVR: -0.3%
SY: 6.0%
UPT: -7.3%
AUR: 17.3%

When reviewing the Top 10 Store Traffic Days, Black Friday took the lead with 4.4% of traffic for this holiday season. Super Saturday was down -26% compared to 2019 but still “super” overall, coming in second. The day after Christmas Day recorded a strong performance with traffic at -8% compared to 2019 and sales +15%.

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“These results show that there was still a great deal of procrastination from shoppers. 20% of all holiday season traffic was recorded during the week before Christmas Day, indicating that shoppers were still waiting till the very end to make their purchases, especially amid concerns over the shipping windows. And those procrastinators definitely went into stores to buy apparel and jewelry, which were down – 18% and -14% respectively. It was really the home category that lost out for a myriad of reasons coming in at – 27% overall for the season”, said Bitar.

Top 10 U.S. Store Traffic Days 2021

11/26/2021 (Black Friday): 4.4%
12/18/2021 (Super Saturday): 3.2%
12/23/2021: 3.2%
12/19/2021: 2.9%
12/22/2021: 2.8%
12/11/2021: 2.7%
12/21/2021: 2.6%
12/20/2021:2.6%
12/24/2021 (Christmas Eve): 2.5%
11/27/2021: 2.4%

U.S. Store Traffic Metrics Per Category 2021

Apparel: -18%
Footwear: -15%
Jewelry: -14%
Health & Beauty: -16%
Home: -27%

U.S. Store Traffic Metrics Per Category 2021 (week of Dec 12 vs Dec 19)

Apparel: -22%
Jewelry: – 24%
Home: – 28%

U.S. Store Traffic Metrics Per Category 2019 (week of Dec 12 vs Dec 19)

Apparel: -17%
Jewelry: – 14%
Home: -35%

RetailNext’s holiday flash reporting of in-store shopping activity comprises tens of thousands of stores across hundreds of brands operating on the RetailNext smart store platform in the United States. Reporting covers a wide variety of segments, from specialty apparel to larger format, big-box stores, and includes both mall-based and standalone stores. Metrics notably exclude automobiles, petroleum, and warehouse clubs. The methodology includes stores in the US that were open both this year and last year.

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