APT Index: September Retail Sales Up 1.8%; Retail Sales Down During Pope’s Visit

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Labor Day Sales Up +5.2% as the Weekend Began in September This Year.

Applied Predictive Technologies (APT) announced today that the APT Index of in-store retail sales was up 1.8% nationwide in September 2015 compared to September of last year, driven by a 1.9% increase in transaction size. Sales for Labor Day Weekend* were up 5.2%, as the weekend began in September this year versus August last year.

Patrick O’Reilly, APT President & COO, said, “September was a strong month for retailers. It’s the first time we’ve seen comps above 1.0% since March of this year. Meanwhile, the Pope’s visit in East Coast cities created shifts in spending behavior as many people may have worked from home to avoid the crowds. In general, sales were down in Washington, D.C., New York City, and Philadelphia during the papal visit.”

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.

Effect of the Pope’s Visit on Retail Sales** – by APT Index numbers:

On most days of the Pope’s visits to Washington, D.C., New York City, and Philadelphia, retail sales were down as many people may have altered their routines or worked from home to avoid the crowds. Interestingly, sales grew on Wednesday, September 23rd, the main day of the Pope’s visit in Washington, D.C. and the day of the parade for him downtown. As the weekend drew nearer, the effects of his visit were larger.

Visit to Washington, D.C.:

  •     Tuesday, September 22nd: -5.4%
  •     Wednesday, September 23rd: +2.4%

Visit to New York City:

  •     Thursday, September 24th: -8.7%
  •     Friday, September 25th: -10.6%

Visit to Philadelphia:

  •     Saturday, September 26th: -7.6%
  •     Sunday, September 27th: -6.4%

Labor Day Weekend Retail Sales – by APT Index numbers:

Overall Retail:

  •     Sales: +5.2%
  •     Transactions: +3.0%
  •     Transaction size: +2.2%

September Retail Sales – by APT Index numbers:

Overall Retail:

  •     Sales: +1.8%
  •     Transactions: -0.1%
  •     Transaction size: +1.9%

General Merchandise:

  •     Sales: +1.2%
  •     Transactions: -1.1%
  •     Transaction size: +2.3%


  •     Sales: -0.2%
  •     Transactions: +0.1%
  •     Transaction size: -0.3%

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

  •     Portland, OR: +9.2%
  •     Seattle, WA: +6.0%
  •     Denver, CO: +4.6%
  •     Atlanta, GA: +3.7%
  •     Charlotte, NC: +3.2%

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

  •     Pittsburgh, PA: -1.5%
  •     Chicago, IL: -1.3%
  •     St. Louis, MO: -0.9%
  •     Philadelphia, PA: -0.6%
  •     Detroit, MI: -0.6%

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

*All Labor Day Weekend sales comps are a comparison of Labor Day Weekend in 2015 to the same weekend last year, adjusted to compare consistent weekdays (9/4/2015-9/7/2015 compared to 9/5/2014-9/8/2014). All figures are for the physical channel.

**Data for the Pope’s visit compares each day of his visit to the same day of the week last year (e.g., Tuesday, 9/22/2015 compared to Tuesday, 9/23/2014).

***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 September sales comps are a comparison of September 2015 to September 2014, adjusted to compare consistent days of the week (9/1/2015-9/30/2015 compared to 9/2/2014-10/1/2014).

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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Cathy Baker
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