Study: Harsh winter freezes retail sales


SAN JOSE, Calif. — This winter has not only frozen roads and roofs, but also had a chilling effect on retail sales. According to the monthly Retail Performance Pulse from RetailNext, there was a 10.4% year-over-year decrease in sales on a 12.5% decline in traffic at brick-and-mortar stores for the retail month of February (Feb. 1-28).

Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, showed the highest sales, traffic and number of transactions of the month. Conversion and sales per shopper were highest the day before Valentine's Day, which is typical from a historical perspective. The lowest sales, traffic, and number of transactions occurred during the first week of the month, when winter weather impacted the Northeast region in particular.

"Winter weather was one of the big, recurring news stories in February, and it certainly made its impact felt at brick-and-mortar stores," said Shelley E. Kohan, VP of retail consulting at RetailNext. "While store traffic declines were more severe in the Northeast and South regions as a result of the inclement weather, it was in those two regions, however, where Sales per Shopper (SpS) was the highest, boasting increases of more than 5% year-over-year."


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