Retailers started the season with cautious optimism.
After a strong start to the holiday shopping season, store sales fell for the third consecutive week as Americans continue to moderate in spending during traditionally the busiest shopping period of the year.
Sales at U.S. stores fell 3.1% to 42,700 million during the week ended Sunday compared with the same week last year, according to ShopperTrak, a company that tracks data from 40,000 stores. This decline followed a 2.9% decline and 0.8% during the first and second weeks of the month, respectively.
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The figures, which do not include online sales, are another challenge in what has largely been a disappointing season for the stores sales. The two-month period that begins on 1 November is important for retailers because they can make up to 40% of its annual turnover during that span.
Retailers started the season with cautious optimism, but after a strong start for most of Nov ShopperTrak said sales rose 3.4% in the month-the retailers have found it increasingly difficult to attract buyers stores despite big discounts and extended hours care during the last days.
“It was a mediocre December,” said Bill Martin, founder of ShopperTrak.