January Retail Index Up But Down

January Retail Index Up But Down

ShopLocal recently announced the ShopLocal Index was up 20 percent for the month of January compared with the same period last year, but down from 36 percent annual growth in 2007. The softening, says the author, suggests that though department stores and mass merchants took the lead on page views, these did not convert into purchases at the store.

The Index, at 191 for the month (benchmarked at 100 for January 2006), reported 232 million page views versus 193 million in January 2007. Department stores and mass merchants led other market segments with 35 percent growth, reflecting typical post-holiday sales on apparel and accessories. Retailers, however, advertised much less in January.

The monthly ShopLocal Index, tracking the influence of the Internet on in-store shopping, is based on the online activity of an average of 20 million monthly consumer visits to store promotions that are presented on the sites of 50 major U.S. retailers, including JCPenney, Best Buy, Walgreens and Home Depot.

Additional January 2008 ShopLocal Index highlights include:

  • The twenty percent growth over January 2007 is the lowest monthly percentage increase since the Index was launched in January of 2007. These findings are consistent with the recent release of the January retail sales figures that showed only a 0.2 percent increase in the month.
  • Page views per visit on a per retailer basis reached 11.5, a nine percent jump versus last January as shoppers spent more time reviewing the online circulars for the best deals and savings.
  • Department stores (65 percent monthly growth) and mass merchants (27 percent monthly growth) continue to lead as the top retail categories in the Index.

 Vikram Sharma, CEO at ShopLocal, said "... this month's Index reflects a combination of the consumer's hesitation in shopping and their stronger value orientation... However, the growth of the Index continues to support forecasts by Forrester and Jupiter of the ongoing increase in online-influenced offline shopping... "

For a two year chart of the index activity , and additional information, please visit here.

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