clear
Wednesday July 29th, 2015 10:05PM

Holiday sales up, but fewer people in stores

By The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) -- Window shopping is taking on a new meaning for many Americans.

The latest sales data from the holiday season shows that U.S. shoppers increasingly prefer to research clothes, TVs and shoes online, or "virtual window shop," before heading to stores.

ShopperTrak, which tracks data at 40,000 stores in the U.S., said on Tuesday that sales for in November and December rose 2.7 percent to $265.9 billion. That was better than the 2.4 percent growth the data tracker expected for the season.

Sales may have grown, but there were fewer people in stores. In fact, the number of store visits shoppers made during the holiday season dropped 14.6 percent to 17.6 billion.

The data signals a continued shift in how Americans are shopping. Analysts say if shoppers are doing most of their research before they get to stores, they will be less likely to browse the racks and shelves once they're in stores. And ultimately, that could change how stores market to shoppers.

C. Britt Beemer, chairman of America's Research Group, a consumer research company, said shoppers came into stores during the holiday season with a list of specific of things to buy to make sure they wouldn't spend more.

"They did less browsing," he said. "They knew exactly what they wanted to buy."

Andrew McSherry, 44, said he certainly shops that way. "I tend to do precision shopping," said McSherry, who lives in Atlanta. "I'm not a browser. I'm a person who figures out what I want and goes to get it."

The ShopperTrak numbers, which do not include online sales, in some ways give retailers hope for their brick-and-mortar stores. The data shows that Americans are at least still willing to go into stores despite the fact that they've been spending more online in recent years.

To be sure, online sales did grow during the holiday season. But they weren't as robust as previously expected.

Online sales, not included those from mobile devices, rose 10 percent to $46.5 billion in November and December, according to comScore. That was lower than the 14 percent growth the research firm had expected.

The National Retail Federation, the nation's largest retail trade group, is expected to release holiday sales numbers for online and stores combined on Tuesday. The group estimates that sales grew 3.9 percent to $602.1 billion. That would be higher than the 3.5 percent increase that it calculated in 2012.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 6 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 6 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 6 months ago )
U.S. News
State DOT awards $48M contract for NE Ga. road project
The state Department of Transportation has awarded a $47.8 million contract for nine miles of work on a northeast Georgia road.
9:37AM ( 6 months ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 6 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 6 months ago )
Maysville man dies from Banks County wreck
The Georgia State Patrol reports that alcohol and/or drugs were factors a single-vehicle wreck that claimed the life of a Maysville man in Banks County Tuesday night.
11:07AM ( 6 months ago )
Local/State News
Planned Parenthood seeks fed study of fetal tissue research
WASHINGTON (AP) — Under fire for its role in providing fetal tissue for research, Planned Parenthood asked the government's top health scientists Wednesday to convene a panel of independent experts to...
8:57PM ( 1 hour ago )
Average US vehicle age hits record 11.5 years
DETROIT (AP) — In the age of Apple's CarPlay, a lot of cars on the road still have tape decks.The average vehicle in the U.S. is now a record 11.5 years old, according to consulting firm IHS Automotiv...
7:01PM ( 3 hours ago )
Los Angeles leaders outlaw high-capacity gun magazines
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The nation's second-largest city is poised to ban possession of firearm magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, stepping into the national debate over gun regulation...
6:13PM ( 3 hours ago )
House votes to provide money for highways, transit
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to shore up federal highway aid and veterans' health care before heading out of town for its August recess, leaving unresolved an array of...
5:51PM ( 4 hours ago )
Stocks end higher after Fed keeps interest rates unchanged
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday after Federal Reserve policymakers voted to keep interest rates unchanged and gave no indication that a rate rise was imminent. A modest rebound in Chines...
5:10PM ( 4 hours ago )