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March Store Traffic Decline Lowest in Four Months

Store foot traffic and sales in the U.S. both fell in March, according to analytics firm Retail Next, but the declines were the lowest since November 2016.

March store traffic fell by 9.2%, an improvement over February’s 12.8% drop, but the continuation of a more than two-years-long slide in the measure as consumers increasingly go online for a broad range of categories from jewelry to groceries.

Cooler temperatures in the Northeast and Midwest and the shift in Easter from March last year to April this year might have been factors in the decline. The South suffered the biggest drop in traffic, down 12.2%.

Saturday March 18 was the best shopping day of the month.

Although one bright spot in the month was the more than two percent improvement in average transaction value, shoppers who visited stores completed 10 percent fewer transactions, which drove sales down more than 8 percent.