So exactly how many people braved the malls today? No one has very good numbers at this point, but ShopperTrak RCT Corp., which collects data from 40,000 cameras in enclosed malls and strip centers, said the numbers were higher than expected. ShopperTrak was looking for a 2.5 percent increase from a year ago, and by late morning traffic had surpassed that by at least a few tenths of a percentage point. "That's a pretty strong increase," ShopperTrak co-founder Bill Martin told the WSJ.
"The question is how much money do they spend?" Mr. Martin added. To benefit stores, the increased traffic "has to ring out in the register" by generating solid sales of goods at profitable prices. "What we saw Friday was a grab for market share, with retailers just trying to get people in the store," he said.
Anecdotally, most everybody says business was better than expected - much of it happening early this morning.