Wednesday, November 30, 2005

NRF Shopping Numbers

The Mystery Pollster debunks and looks at the NRF's methodology for their Black weekend shopping numbers.

This is probably only of interest to me because I have been fielding questiosn all week about why my company's numbers are so much lower.

Since the press release is out - We're showing a 0.4% increase in spending over the entire weekend and a 0.9% decrease for Black Friday based on traffic figures and monthly estimates.

Update, here is our mention in the WSJ. Woo hoo:

The most bearish estimate came from ShopperTrak RCT Corp., a Chicago
market-research company with about 40,000 cameras in retail locations,
mostly shopping malls. (For more on the company's methods, see this print
Journal article12 from December 2004.) By counting foot traffic from the camera images and converting that into sales figures, the company reported a sales decrease of 0.9% on Friday, and an increase for the weekend of just 0.4%. As NRF and others have pointed out, ShopperTrak doesn't have cameras in the big
standalone retailers that opened early Friday and offered the biggest
discounts (like Wal-Mart), and therefore may have missed much of the sales
increases. But Bill Martin, ShopperTrak's co-founder and executive vice
president of sales, stood behind his company's estimates, and said that it
has proprietary methods to extrapolate from camera data to the entire retail
industry. He declined to provide details. In response to the NRF estimate,
Mr. Martin told me, "Double-digit increases are beyond any test of reason
that we can see in the marketplace."

Sorry for not posting about anything besides this, but work is eating up my life. Hopefully after the holidays I will have more time for posts about actually interesting things.

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