A Look at Holiday Foot Traffic, Drawn From Mobile Location Data

holiday-placedThe Saturday before Christmas came in as a top three December shopping day for many retailers, including Best Buy, Toys ‘R’ Us, and Walmart.

Below we present final holiday 2012 data from location analytics company Placed, which analyzes in-store visits of consumers who have opted-in to a mobile location measuring app. Placed’s location-based network does not attempt to estimate who transacted or how much they spent – or for that matter, if they were showrooming.

Target saw the most in-store visits on Christmas Eve, followed by Saturday, December 15, and then so-called “Super Saturday” on December 22. The three days leading up to Christmas saw the highest traffic of the month for Walmart, whose most popular day was Sunday, December 23, followed by Christmas Eve, and then Super Saturday.

Best Buy was the only retailer to see the most in-store visits on Super Saturday, followed by Saturday, December 15 and Friday, December 21. Kohl’s was the only retailer studied that saw the Day After Christmas crack its top three shopping days, with Sunday, December 23 and Super Saturday as the first and second traffic days, respectively.

Super Saturday came in as the second most-popular day for both Macy’s and Toys ‘R’ Us. The toy retailer saw Saturday, December 15 as its busiest day, with Sunday, December 23 as its third-most trafficked day. Macy’s was flipped, with the most in-store traffic on Sunday, December 23 and its third-most popular day on Saturday, December 15.


Looking specifically at big box retailers, 65.4% of visits to such stores were at Walmart, followed by 26.1% at Target and 8.6% at Kmart. The department stores split the in-store traffic more evenly, with Kohl’s seeing 32.3%, Sears seeing 26.7% J.C. Penney at 22 %, and Macy’s at 19 %.

Looking specifically at the biggest increases in in-store traffic for Super Saturday, Christmas Eve, and the Day after Christmas, American Eagle, Victoria’s Secret, and Sephora saw the largest increases compared to average daily user visits between November 22 and December 26, 2012.

In addition to visiting retailers such as Kohl’s and Sephora the Day After Christmas, consumers planned to get a jump on using gift cards by shopping online on Christmas Day. Of consumers polled by the National Retail Federation, 8.2% said that online shopping would be a part of their Christmas holiday, up from 4.2 % who said the same thing in 2011.

As in-store sales rose in the final holiday shopping days, online sales for the holiday season were up 14 % compared to 2011, according to comScore. The largest online shopping days were naturally earlier in the month, with Cyber Monday as the biggest online sales day, with $1.5 billion in sales, followed by Tuesday, December 4 and Monday, December 10.

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