APT Index: August Retail Sales Down 2.2% As Labor Day Falls Late this Year

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Excluding the Loss of Labor Day Sales, August Retail Sales Up 0.5%. 30% Higher Sales Performance During Tax-Free Weekends for Back-to-School Season.

Applied Predictive Technologies (APT) announced today that the APT Index of in-store retail sales decreased 2.2% nationwide in August 2015 compared to August of last year. The decrease was driven by a decrease in transactions, as Labor Day Weekend began on September 4th this year, versus August 29th last year. Excluding lost Labor Day sales in the month of August, retail sales were up 0.5% for the month.

Patrick O’Reilly, APT President & COO, said, “The APT Index shows how dramatically sales can change when Labor Day shifts later and when states offer Tax-Free Weekends for the back-to-school season. As a result, it’s extremely important for retailers to determine how these changes affect each of their stores to appropriately benchmark store performance and make important decisions on rewarding managers, evaluating programs, and more.”

The APT Index aggregates in-store sales data at over 100,000 chain stores and restaurants across the U.S. to show how year-over-year sales performance changes. In addition to reporting brick-and-mortar sales, the APT Index also includes figures for online apparel sales.

Tax-Free Weekend Sales – by APT Index numbers:

The APT Index shows the success of Tax-Free Weekends occurring this August, which a number of states offered for the back-to-school season. Comparing 2015 retail sales during each Tax-Free Weekend to average weekend sales, the APT Index shows that sales during Tax-Free Weekends were 30% higher than normally expected.

States Offering Tax-Free Weekends by Retail Sales Increases*

  •     Oklahoma: +36%
  •     South Carolina: +36%
  •     New Mexico: +33%
  •     Tennessee: +33%
  •     Missouri: +31%
  •     Alabama: +29%
  •     Texas: +22%
  •     Virginia: +14%

August Retail Sales – by APT Index numbers:

Overall Retail:

  •     Sales: -2.2%
  •     Transactions: -3.8%
  •     Transaction size: +1.6%

General Merchandise:

  •     Sales: -1.0%
  •     Transactions: -1.7%
  •     Transaction size: +0.7%

Apparel (In-store):

  •     Sales: -5.8%
  •     Transactions: -7.4%
  •     Transaction size: +1.6%

Apparel (Online):

  •     Sales: +6.2%
  •     Transactions: +0.7%
  •     Transaction size: +5.5%

Top Performing Metro Areas in August by APT Index Retail Sales Comps**

  •     Tampa, FL: -0.4%
  •     Denver, CO: -0.9%
  •     Dallas, TX: -0.9%
  •     San Antonio, TX: -1.7%
  •     St. Louis, MO: -1.9%

Bottom Performing Metro Areas in August by APT Index Retail Sales Comps**

  •     Detroit, MI: -8.5%
  •     San Diego, CA: -7.5%
  •     Boston, MA: -7.1%
  •     New York, NY: -6.9%
  •     Washington, DC: -6.9%

For more information, visit: http://www.predictivetechnologies.com.

*Tax-Free Weekends for the states included all occurred on the same weekend: August 7-9, 2015. Tax-Free Weekend increases determined by comparing weekend sales to surrounding weekends for each state. States with Tax-Free Weekends occurring for more or less than 3 days excluded from the analysis. These states are Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

**Top performing metro areas chosen from the top 25 metro areas as defined by the Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA) from the U.S. Census.

All August sales comps are a comparison of August 2015 to August 2014, adjusted to compare consistent weekdays (8/1/2015-8/31/2015 compared to 8/2/2014-9/1/2014). All figures are for the physical channel except for the online apparel sales data, as noted.

About APT
APT is a leading cloud-based analytics software company that enables organizations to rapidly and precisely measure cause-and-effect relationships between business initiatives and outcomes to generate economic value. Our intuitive and proprietary Test & Learn® software utilizes sophisticated algorithms to analyze large amounts of data, enabling business leaders to conduct experiments and allowing them to make optimal decisions and implement business initiatives at scale. We also offer products that support decision-making for specific business needs including transaction analysis, space planning, promotion design, category management and location selection. APT’s client portfolio features some of the world’s best known brands, including Walmart, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Victoria’s Secret, American Family, Hilton Hotels, SUBWAY, TD Bank, T-Mobile, and others. APT has offices in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, London, Bentonville, Taipei, Tokyo, Sydney, and Chicago. Visit http://www.predictivetechnologies.com to learn more.

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