NPD Releases Shopping Activity Weekly Holiday Trends Report

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Are Consumers Consistent This Holiday?

“We are in the ‘lull’ before the storm…the holiday shopping storm is brewing and getting ready to unleash shoppers,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc.

The Shopping Activity Weekly Holiday Trends* report from leading market research provider The NPD Group, Inc. shows an increase in the number of shoppers in the market.
During the week ending November 14, 2011, 68 percent of U.S. consumers went shopping compared to 66 percent the prior week.

Brick & Mortar Shopping Conversion is down slightly from last week, which is consistent with trends found in Shopping Activity Services^ from the 2010 holiday period.

See Chart: Brick + Mortar Conversion - 11-14-11

Data from Shopping Activity Services ^ for the 2010 holiday season showed that Brick & Mortar Shopping Conversion rates dropped in November and December. One exception to that was Black Friday when conversion rates did register a sizeable increase.

See Chart: 2010 Holiday Conversion

“We are in the ‘lull’ before the storm…the holiday shopping storm is brewing and getting ready to unleash shoppers,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc., “The slow-down in consumers’ conversion rates this week is to be expected. They are holding-off and preparing to hit the brick & mortar stores as well as online. They are just waiting for the deals to surface.”

The channels with the highest levels of shopping conversion include: grocery stores (94 percent), convenience stores (89 percent), warehouse clubs (84 percent), drug stores (77 percent), mass merchants (73 percent), and specialty beauty stores (72 percent). On the lower end of the spectrum were department stores (38 percent) as well as a range of vertical retail channels: specialty apparel stores (40 percent), book stores (44 percent), sporting goods stores (46 percent), electronics stores (47 percent), and home specialty stores (49 percent).    

The Online Share of Buying Visits increased to 12.5% this week, the highest level seen since early October.    

See Chart: Online Share of Conversion - 11-14-11

A closer look at the Online Share of Buying Visits for the week ending November 14, 2011 shows that vertical retailers tend to have more success based on their higher than average online share of buying visits. Those retailers are: book stores (24 percent), toy stores (22 percent), specialty apparel (22 percent), electronics stores (21 percent), specialty beauty (20 percent), and sporting goods (17 percent).

“We have continually seen that Online posts a higher dollar transaction rate than Brick & Mortar,” said Cohen, “This tells us that Online is drawing a slightly less on ‘sale-centric’ crowd or that consumers are buying higher priced items online and taking trips to the Brick & Mortar stores to buy the lower priced commodities and sundries.”

*The Shopping Activity Weekly Holiday Trends is special report from The NPD Group, Inc.’s Shopping Activity Service. The Shopper Activity Weekly Holiday Trends report will follow the weekly holiday shopping trends over the course of the 2011 holiday retail season and will be released weekly. ^Shopping Activity Services is a study fielded to 4,750 U.S. consumers daily. It captures brick and mortar shopping behavior and online purchase behavior in categories from Apparel to Entertainment to Groceries to Video Games. In response to demand for more granular data this report has been enhanced and all previous data has been restated to reflect that enhancement. The result is a shift in the actual values however the directionality of the results remains in-tact.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 1,800 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, entertainment, fashion, food, home and office, sports, technology, toys, video games, and wireless. For more information, contact us, visit, or follow us Twitter at and Become a fan of Marshal Cohen at and watch more on NPD’s YouTube channel.


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Beth Boyle
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