Pedestrian traffic broke down at Sears and Kmart stores this weekend, according to research from InMarket, a location-based research company…
Pedestrian traffic broke down at Sears and Kmart stores this weekend, according to research from InMarket, a location-based research company that tracks customer traffic at mortar with anonymous GPS data from smart phones of 50 million shoppers. Sears and Kmart constitute Sears Holding, which was filed for bankruptcy on October 15th.
The data show foot traffic at Sears and Kmart was 14% lower during the three days that followed Thanksgiving compared to the same holiday a year ago. Traffic dropped 17% on black Friday, 7% on Saturday and 16% on Sunday, according to research.
The research factors in hundreds of stores like Sears have closed since the end of 2017 and just watching foot traffic in the stores open during both shopping periods.
Sears has not yet disclosed sales or traffic data for the season’s start. A spokesman for Sears Holdings refused to comment.
The company hopes to use the bankruptcy process to shed costs and close to additional stores and appear as a profitable and competitive retailer. But its own bankruptcy courts have said that a strong holiday shopping period is crucial for its ability to stay on business.
“The weeks that arise are really critical of the company’s ability to reorganize,” said Ray Schrock, his lawyer, in a bankruptcy court hearing a week before Thanksgiving.
Schrock predicted that the company could add an increase in sales compared with sales in the same store a year earlier. However, Searos has a series of sales reductions dating back to 2010.
Last year, rival retail chains, such as Macy’s (M) and Kohls (KSS) and even troubled JCPenney (JCP) reported all improved seasonal sales, Sears and Kmart sales fell by an average of 16%.
Sears sales figures could make even bigger hits this year, when nearly 200 of the 700 stores it still had at the start of the holiday season are in the process of keeping closing sales. These sales include deep discounts on the price of their remaining stocks, and no recovery of goods when they sell out.