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US Retail Traffic: November Data Overview

Retail Traffic in the United States

Overall retail traffic in the United States increased by +5.0% year over year (YoY) during the Black Friday weekend, compared to +0.1% year over year (YoY), owing to warmer and more humid weather conditions. Furthermore, garment traffic in the US climbed by +3.3% year on year, outpacing the preceding period’s +1.9% year on year gain.

November’s average total traffic was +5.5% month-to-date (MTD), the lowest monthly result this year. Meanwhile, Redbook’s weekly sales increased by +6.3%, surpassing the previous week’s +3.4%.

Retail traffic increased by +5.0% year on year in the fourth week of November, compared to +3.3% the previous week. After experiencing unfavorable variations at the beginning of November, retail traffic in the United States has recovered over the past two weeks. During the fourth week of November, traffic was +9.0% more than in 2019, outpacing the prior week by 17.8%.

Despite the Black Friday surge, fall traffic in November continues to slow, with the month’s average retail traffic now at +1.5% YoY, lower than the October average (+3.1%) and September average (+3.0%). Summer traffic increase peaked in July (+7.0% year on year), outpacing June and May by +4.4% and +5.5%, respectively.

Snowfall in the fourth week of November was more than three times more than in 2022. This week was both the warmest since 2020 and the snowiest in three years. Temperatures fell across the country, increasing demand for seasonal goods.

Snowfall fell throughout many places, increasing snowfall by 250% year over year. The balanced XRT increased by +6.8% year to date but declined by 2.2% year to date as of November 29, 2023, underperforming the S&P 500, which increased by +18.9% year to date and +15.0% year to year.

Retail Traffic Forecast for Dec Week 1

Based on November statistics, it is expected that retail traffic in the United States will climb by 10% in the first week of December. The first week of December is projected to be the coldest since 2018, according to Weather Trends International (“WTI”), possibly benefiting winter categories. Snow will continue to fall in New England and the Great Lakes, although temperatures are forecast to climb this week. Temperatures on the West Coast are forecast to stay steady with the previous week, while storms may bring wetter weather to the Northwest.

Now W4: Warmer and Much Snowier Than Last Year

The fourth week of November was +1.4°F warmer than the previous year and +1.2°F warmer than the historical average, according to Weather Trends International data. Precipitation was 36% higher than in 2022, while snowfall was 250% higher. Despite a large increase in snowfall compared to 2022, last year’s snowfall was exceptionally low at this time.

The week began rather warm, but by the weekend, temperatures had dropped significantly, increasing demand for seasonal presents. Snowstorms may have limited store visits, but they have also increased demand for winter clothes and cold-weather supplies.

Clothing Traffic W4 November

Clothing sales in the United States increased by 3.3% year on year (ended November 25, 2023), compared to +1.9% the previous week (Figure 2 below). The average clothes shop visitation in November was +1.0% YoY, the lowest since 2023, and was lower than the October average (+2.1%), matching September’s (+2.1%) and falling short of August’s (+3.9%). Clothing traffic in the fourth week of November was 6.4% lower than in the previous week (by 11.8%).

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