NPD Releases Shopping Activity Weekly Holiday Trends Report For The Week Ending December 26, 2011

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For the week ending December 26, 2011, The Shopping Activity Weekly Holiday Trends* report from leading market research provider The NPD Group, Inc., once again shows an increase in the number of shoppers^ in the market. Sixty-nine percent of U.S. consumers went shopping at brick & mortar retail compared to sixty-eight percent the prior week.

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Marshal Cohen, Chief Industry Analyst, The NPD Group, Inc.

“With so much of the season being front loaded with “self-gifting” it would have been easy for the consumer to be ‘tapped out’ and forego some important gift shopping for those on their list. But they shopped...

For the week ending December 26, 2011, The Shopping Activity Weekly Holiday Trends* report from leading market research provider The NPD Group, Inc., once again shows an increase in the number of shoppers^ in the market. Sixty-nine percent of U.S. consumers went shopping at brick & mortar retail compared to sixty-eight percent the prior week.

This week’s results show that overall brick & mortar shopping visits increased by 6.5 percent this week, but despite the increase in the number of shoppers in the market, brick & mortar shopping conversion remained relatively stable.

See Chart: Brick & Mortar Shopping Conversion Rate - Weeks Ending Dec. 5 – Dec 26, 2011

“The stability in the conversion rate is a good sign that holiday held its own this year,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc., “With so much of the season being front loaded with “self-gifting” it would have been easy for the consumer to be ‘tapped out’ and forego some important gift shopping for those on their list. But they shopped for those on their list and showed it in their shopping conversion rates in brick & mortar stores.”

For the week ending December 26, 2011 Shopping Activity Weekly Holiday Trends report looks at shopping visits and shopping conversion for individual general merchandise retail channels. It was vertical retailers that posted the highest increases this week.

See Charts: Shopping Visits For Channels With Highest Percent Change Growth    &
                 Shopping Conversion For Channels With Highest Percent Change Growth    

In addition to the increase in brick & mortar shopping visits this week the average amount spent per buying visit was up 4.7 percent, from the prior week. This increase in spending is the largest week over week increase reported since the week of November 28th, which included Black Friday.

Online shopping activity continued its decline. For the week ending December 26, 2011 online share of buying visits declined to 13.9 percent, down from 16.4 percent the prior week.

See Chart: Online Share of Buying Visits - Weeks Ending Dec. 5 – Dec. 26, 2011

“’Christmas Crunch time’ (the final week before Christmas) gave a nice boost to brick & mortar stores. While online saw its usual drop off as shipping dates for guaranteed delivery passed the prior week,” said Cohen, “Online still had a healthy level of shoppers. So what does all this mean? Retailers had a nice Christmas, with a full load of shoppers, buyers and online visitors.”

“The front loaded holiday this year will likely take its biggest toll on the back end…the post-holiday period,” said Cohen, “Look for consumers to be ‘bought out’ or even ‘tapped out’ after the first week in January. This fourth period of the holiday retail season this year, will be the place where we see the consumer pulling back.”

*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 as of November 7, 2011 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.

^Shoppers include those consumers shopping in channels including grocery stores and drug stores.

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 http://www.npd.com/, or follow us Twitter at twitter.com/marshalcohen and twitter.com/npdfashion. Become a fan of Marshal Cohen at http://www.facebook.com/npdmarshalcohen and watch more on NPD’s YouTube channel.

CONTACT:
Beth Boyle
The NPD Group, Inc.
516-625-4603
beth.boyle(at)npd(dot)com

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