Brick-and-mortar stores got more attention from shoppers last week but fared less well at converting them into buyers.

This story first appeared in the November 2, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

According to The NPD Group’s Shopping Activity Weekly Holiday Trends report, stores captured 70 percent of shoppers in the seven days leading up to and including Halloween Monday, up from 68 percent during the prior week.

However, the conversion rate — the portion of “engaged” shoppers who ultimately made purchases — fell to 70.3 percent from 71.1 percent during the week ended Oct. 24.

There was a corresponding shift towards the Internet among shoppers. E-commerce accounted for 12.1 percent of shopping visits last week, up a fraction from 12 percent during the prior week and identical to the percentage for the week ended Oct. 10.

Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD, noted that Halloween brings limited upside for retailers. “We can see that in the drop-off in our shopping conversion rate as more people browse and don’t make a purchase,” he said.

In late September, the National Retail Federation, working from survey data supplied by BIGresearch, said Halloween celebrants planned to spend an average of $72.31 on decorations, costumes and candy for the holiday, up 9.1 percent from $66.28 in 2010. The percentage of Americans 18 and older who expected to celebrate Halloween rose to 68.6 percent from 63.8 percent in 2010.

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