Brick-and-mortar sales down 8.8 percent in 2014

Earlier this week, this blog examined the sales numbers that were released for April that were below expectations. While the report shows that month-on-month sales numbers continue to rise, albeit slowly, a new report shows that the opposite is true for actual brick-and-mortar retail locations.

Released by RetailNext, the latest analysis shows that from January through April this year, sales in physical stores have fallen 8.8 percent. On top of that, traffic in these spaces have dropped 8.2 percent. These numbers come from analysis of 59 million specialty and larger format retail stores.

The study also found that transactions fell 9.2 percent and sales per store slipped 0.8 percent.

According to RetailNext vice president of retail consulting and in-store analytics Shelley Kohan, traffic and sales at brick-and-mortar locations have been declining in recent years. Consumers are taking few trips to the store and but once they arrive at their favorite locations, they will spend 1.4 percent more than at a random location. There are two ways this can happen.

"Customers are making conscious choices about what products they want to buy online and which stores they want to visit to purchase product. The latter will normally have something to do with proximity and/or desire to shop in a particular retailer's environment," Kohan wrote. "Also, most customers have already done research on the product they are looking for prior to entering the brick-and-mortar environment, so there is higher probability of purchase and higher spend."

While sales in brick-and-mortar locations are down, there is still an opportunity here. Companies need to make sure they have the latest credit card payment software and other solutions to ensure they are able to take advantage of every potential sale.

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