Warmer Weather Helps Retail Traffic In Late June

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Although summer officially arrived on June 20, the warm temperatures associated with the season are just beginning to become consistent across the country.

Thanks mostly to hotter weather, retail traffic for the fourth week of June slipped 3.3 percent but was much better than the deceleration experienced in previous weeks, according to Cowen and Co. analyst Oliver Chen.

In a note titled “School’s Out, Temps Are Hot & Traffic Is Improving,” Chen said he continues to expect the traffic run rate to improve in the coming weeks. He predicts that traffic will decline in the range of 2 to 4 percent next week, an improvement over previous weeks that saw steeper declines.

Summer temperatures have finally arrived across the U.S., which should help retailers attempt to end Q2 clean [of inventory] for fall,” Chen wrote on Monday. “The Fourth of July weekend is the next big shopping catalyst.”

Year-to-date total U.S. retail visits are down 4 percent, while total U.S. retail same-store traffic slipped 6.6 percent year over year for June’s fourth week, Citi Research analyst Kate McShane noted, referencing data from ShopperTrak’s Market Intelligence product.

On the sales side, McShane said that athletic trends remained solid. Total U.S. athletic footwear point-of-sales rose 14.7 percent year over year, for the week ended June 25, and topped the previous week’s growth of 12.4 percent, she noted (data source: SportScan).

Following the Fourth of July sales rush, the next big focus for footwear and apparel brands and retailers is the back-to-school shopping season, which revs up in August.