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Did back-to-school buying end summer slump? - USA
Did back-to-school buying end summer slump? - USA

Did back-to-school buying end summer slump? - USA

INTERNATIONAL NEWS - Sep 8th 2015, 07:48

California - The back-to-school season traditionally gives retailers a much-needed boost, bringing traffic into stores in August. How did things turn out this year? 

Not so great it turns out, according to RetailNext Inc., which provides retail analytics for brick-and-mortar stores. The firm’s, monthly Retail Performance Pulse revealed a 7.3% year-over-year decrease in sales on a 9.9% decline in traffic at physical stores for the retail month of August (Aug. 2 through Aug. 29 on the retail 4-5-4 calendar).

"As a season, back-to-school did not provide the lift like it had in past years," said Shelley E. Kohan, VP of retail consulting at RetailNext. "Much like Thanksgiving, today's shoppers are reinventing the back-to-school season, expanding the season both forward and backwards as they seek greater value. Other contributing factors to August's performance were a late Labor Day weekend and a dip in disposable income for apparel and other segments due to the tremendous month experienced by automobile sales."

In some good news, Kohan added that retailers are seeing a more committed shopper when she enters the store, and one who is more compelled to purchase once there. Shoppers are buying at a higher rate, measured by increases in both conversion and average transaction value (ATV)."

The first two weeks of August were the best performing weeks, driven in part by psychological appeal to customers of sales tax-free holidays and corresponding rises in store traffic and conversion. The last week of the month was the worst performing week.

"While August was a tough month for many stores, indicators suggest lots of opportunities for Holiday as employment, income, and interest rates remain positive,” added Kohan. “It will be important for retailers to maximise this holiday season, as holiday 2016 will be challenging, especially with distractions around the Presidential election."From 

Read more about: retailnext | kohan | california

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