US: Remote Sensing Metrics (RS Metrics), a firm that uses remote sensing data for market survey, reported that measurements of car traffic at US malls on the weekends leading up to Black Friday were running even with last year and encouragingly above 2008 or 2009 levels. RS Metrics clients got exclusive access to data for Saturday, November 19th through Black Friday weekend and all of December, including individual store-by-store breakouts used to help predict comparable sales or “comps”.
Big increases in retail traffic are normally seen starting on the Saturday prior to Black Friday weekend. In 2010, malls were over 40 percent full for the first time since 2007.
“2011 is shaping up to be a steady holiday shopping season in terms of traffic regardless of high unemployment, instability in Europe, or ongoing US debt issues” said Tom Diamond, President and CEO of RS Metrics. “Lower end consumers continue to struggle, but many middle class Americans have found a comfort level and are becoming much more confident since the depths of the recession in 2008 or 2009.”
RS Metrics uses proprietary data and analysis based on remote sensing technology to determine year-over-year traffic growth, market share, and comps forecasts at major retailers and restaurants. Results can be broken out by region, zip code, store format, local demographics and more.