The latest look at the state of the retail community from Euclid finds quite a few areas of concern, and joins with many others in taking a swipe at Congress for the government shutdown. But in the end, it thinks holiday shopping will improve YOY.
Euclid laid blame for an October retail slump squarely on Congress, saying, “Shopping visits were inhibited by the government shutdown during the first half of the month, and failed to fully recover as consumers are faced with continued economic uncertainty.” This was alleviated to an extent by aggressive promotional activity.
Store traffic fell 4.5% month-over-month and 3.8% year-over-year.
There were other negative trends. 10.5% of consumers entering a store exited in less than five minutes, up from 9% a year earlier. During the same period, the average visit duration fell to 21.5 minutes from 22.8 minutes.
Regarding the holiday season, Euclid said, “We expect holiday sales to rise compared to last year, driven by increased disposable income, a very promotional holiday, and pent up demand from several weeks of depressed spending. Having said this, Euclid predicts that overall traffic will drop year-over-year as the shortened holiday period and continued economic uncertainty result in more focused shopping. Bounce rates will continue to rise and overall visit durations will shrink as shoppers, pressed for time, have less patience for longer lines and less interest in extensive browsing. We also expect a decline in repeat customers compared to last year as a result of the fewer trips to store locations. To respond, retailers looking to attract these shoppers need to focus on more aggressive up-front promotions, stronger in-store visual, heavier staffing during peak periods, and keen attention to out-of-stock events.”
RBR-TVBR observation: Retailers need your help. According to this study they are having a little more trouble keeping consumers in their stores – broadcasters can help with that to an extent, if they assist with the creation of messaging that offers a reason for people to pay an extended visit to a particular location.
More importantly, though, is Euclid’s finding that retailers are having more trouble getting consumers in the door in the first place. This is where broadcasters can shine. It’s your job more than ever to help local businesses mane themselves into a destination, particularly as the internet takes an ever-increasing piece of the holiday spending pie.