Higher Sales Forecasted for 2012 Back-to-School Season

This year’s back-to-school shopping season is expected to bring more retail foot traffic and higher sales than seen in the previous five years, according to forecasts made by ShopperTrak.

According to the analysis, retailers can expect not only more traffic in stores, but repeat visits and an increase in sales rates. It is estimated that national sales will show an increase of 4 percent compared to last year’s rates. Retail traffic should increase 1.5 percent.

After a sharp decline in 2009, year-over-year back-to-school sales improved only 1.8 percent in 2010 before increasing 4.5 percent last year.

Based on the retail sales growth rate within the past 28 months, a four percent increase is predicted.

ShopperTrak partially attributes the growing trend to the recent fall in gas prices.

ShopperTrak measures retail foot traffic in more than 45,000 locations across 74 countries in order to create these sales projections. They claim a three percent accuracy rating. Forecasted numbers may improve or decline with unanticipated changes in the nation’s unemployment rate, consumer sentiment, or gasoline prices.

This post was originally written by Gigi Rubin and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.